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The Crack Magazine

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The Lying Life Of Adults By Elena Ferrante

The good thing about Elena Ferrante is that she examines a relationship from every conceivable angle. Nothing is left unexamined. Sometimes this results in numerous interpretations of the way people have spoken or behaved. In Elena Ferrante’s latest, book, the main character, Giovanna, overhears her father imply she’s ‘getting ugly’ – which leads her to an almost forensic investigation of the remark and takes her away from her middle-class family home into the depths of working-class Naples. It’s here she finds that the ‘lying life of adults’ is not just a way of protecting young people from the truth but also a way of ignoring uncomfortable truths which adults use to protect themselves. Eventually Giovanna understands that there are very good reasons for the lying life of adults. Post Neapolitan Quartet, Elena Ferrante continues to show that she has plenty left to say about Naples, Italy and beyond, and that the forensic examination of all kinds of relationships is an indefinite literary task that she is fantastically well suited for.

The Lying Life of Adults – Elena Ferrante – publ. by Europa Editions £8.99

Steven Long

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