Hillary Huber settles into the story very comfortably, with distinctive voices for the characters and excellent pronunciations of Italian words. My Br..Show More »illiant Friend explores the mundane and the riveting elements of everyday life with literary precision.
This is the 3rd in the 4 book series and so far, this is my favorite one (though I'm still not as enamored as most of the reviewers here). It gives mo..Show More »re insight into Lila and why everyone thinks she's so fabulous. It also gives a glimpse into the feminist movement in the 70s in Italy- the thoughts and actions of women breaking ground for the future freedoms of female sexuality, and men's reactions having to come to terms with strong women. We still find Elena insecure and envious and Lila is still mean, so I wonder how they stayed friends throughout the years. I guess because it takes place before the "get rid of the toxic people in your life" mantra. Again, Ferrante has a way of writing that gives the characters authenticity and the scenes a reality and feel I don't get from most books. Not that it's over the top description; that's not it at all. But it's one of those books that imprints itself somehow, even though, or perhaps because the stories of these lives hit very close to home. As for the narrator, I don't know that I'll ever be able to listen to this narrator again. It's too slow and lacking feeling, though it is starting to seem to fit the character of the books. I listen on 1.5 so as not to go crazy or fall into a stupor.
The best of the series. But should be read after the others to get the full impact.
This book is more tightly written than the others, yet thoughtfully presents mature reflections on all the themes. Characters are put into perspective..Show More » as is are the political waves that flowed beneath the personal stories. The tensions of so many lives begin to settle into a calm of mature age, still active but no longer frantic. Ferrante has done justice to the story of her city and to the characters lives and passions. Brava.