The Story of the Lost Child is the concluding volume in the dazzling saga of two women—told against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change. Lila and Lenù are now adults, with husbands, lovers, aging parents, and children. Their friendship has been the gravitational center of their lives. Both women fought to escape the neighbourhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. In this final novel she has returned to Naples, drawn back as if responding to the city’s obscure magnetism. Lila, on the other hand, could never free herself from the city of her birth. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect the neighbourhood. Proximity to the world she has always rejected only brings her role as its unacknowledged leader into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, and unforgettable. The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and each return will bring with it new revelations.
“Nothing quite like this has ever been published before.”—The Guardian
“This is high stakes, subversive literature.”—The Daily Telegraph
“With the publication of her Neapolitan Novels, (Ferrante) has established herself as the foremost writer in Italy—and the world.”—The Sunday Times
“An unconditional masterpiece . . . I was totally enthralled.”—Jhumpa Lahiri
“An extraordinary epic.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“To the uninitiated, Elena Ferrante is best described as Balzac meets The Sopranos and rewrites feminist theory.”—The Times
“Ferrante’s writing seems to say something that hasn’t been said before, in a way so compelling its readers forget where they are, abandon friends and disdain sleep.”—Joanna Biggs, LRB
“Stunning. An intense, forensic exploration of friendship.”—The Times Literary Supplement
Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), and the international best-selling novel in four installments known as the Neapolitan Quartet (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child, Europa 2012-2015). She is also the author of Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey, a children’s picture book illustrated by Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night, and, most recently, a collection of essays entitled Incidental Inventions (Europa, 2019).