Until I was 16 years old I thought my elder half-brother’s father had been married to my mother and that he had died in a car crash before I was born. In fact, in her early twenties in the 1950s, my mother had had an affair with a married man. When she became pregnant, she insisted that he stay with his wife. She changed her surname to his and concocted the story of the crash to maintain her reputation and that of her Catholic family.
So you can imagine how I was drawn to The Lying Life of Adults, the new novel by the anonymous Italian writer who goes by the name of Elena Ferrante. She returns to Naples, the setting of her Neapolitan