As already promised, this is my review of the book “My brilliant friend”. The original one in Italian is “L’amica geniale” written by Elena Ferrante. While in Albanian you find it with the title“Mikesha gjeniale”.
Who has had the chance to see my post on Instagram/Facebook yesterday, is already aware of my fascination.
I am not really sure of my accuracy on this review since I read it in Albanian. The translation is of a very good quality, though. It flows naturally, it looks so organic, so flawless making the reading such a good and enjoyable experience. Plus it’s more convenient as it costs less. The publishing house is Pegi, which also happens to be one of the most professional, rigorous publishing houses in Albania. (My personal opinion)
This review is from a plain reader’s point of view (that would be me, yeeeeaaah)and I repeat again, it was an amazing read. I know that it has been reviewed from experts, literature critics and important celebrities/media, also making it a bestseller, but this is not the point really. As there are lots of best sellers that suck (at least to me), but this one is really good and it had me hooked up from the start.
First, I need to tell you something. I had quite lost the sense of reading a novel, since the past year I have been more focused on psychology/social or even economics books which involved matter of fact realities, experiments, studies, statistics… you get the drill.
So finally switching to a complete different genre something I had kept myself away from, (intentionally or not, I really don’t know, but it really doesn’t matter) sating my thirst for some vivid colors in my world. 😀 Yay \oo/
This book includes the first two parts of the whole saga: Childhood and Adolescence.
This is how two poor girls, Lenù and Lina, grow up in a very poor and polluted neighborhood of Naples (Italy). It discloses little by little who they are, their families, relatives, acquaintances, what’s their life-like, their school and then work, their dreams and their expectations, not forgetting their status and their poverty. Not to mention the violence that looks like a veil enveloping everything, sometimes almost invisible but sometimes quite decisive and determinant on their choices and futures. This is about how these children plan their futures and the aim to become rich by writing books… I mean I have totally dreamed of such thing… Writing books, I really didn’t care about becoming rich though, hhhmmm makes me wonder why… OOOOkaaaay, let’s get back to the book, this is not about me, isn’t it? ;p
Why did I love it? (yeah, duh, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I loved it)
Because I couldn’t stop myself from syncing with the characters and specially Lenù. That’s the beauty of it, no matter the time frame, the geographic location I couldn’t help but also recognize myself in these girls when I was little or when I starting growing up in my teenage years.
All the fears, the insecurities, the need for continuous approval from family, professors, class mates, relatives and finally that particular best friend we might have had when we were very young. The magnetic kind of best friend which is so good at everything, that everyone is so pulled at, the one you look up to, the one you think you hate so much due to common jealousy and envy who happens to be the one you also love so much, almost unconditionally.
This is Lenù (Elena) and her feelings towards the perfect but “evil” Lina. The narrator is Lenù herself, telling the story in first person, being constantly so opened about her weakness, her addiction towards Lina, her vulnerabilities and her endless efforts to study, to improve for the sake of Lina or to compete with her and finally to be able to persuade herself that even though she is not better; she can’t possibly think of being better than Lina but at least to vibrate in the same wavelength. As Lina always so independent, so tough has a different pace which no one is able to keep up with.
This is more or less the Childhood part. While the Adolescence part shows the same girls, now growing up, starting the path of womanhood. Lina becomes a piece of art, which stands out more and more as days go by. Lenù on the other hand watches the transitions of her best friend and her own, as they drift apart more and more each day.
Lenù is always so careful with her thoughts, family, friends, being the bookworm she is, studying, seeing an ugly girl in front of the mirror. She worries about Nino the love of her life, while experimenting with Antonio her boyfriend. She watches over Lina, looks like parts have been exchanged. Lenù is the one providing advice now, keeping safe a virtual equilibrium because Lina needs her support more than ever… or better say Lina is now going with the flow and needs some reassurance.
Hhhmmm the interesting part is that, you think you know which of the two is really the brilliant friend… but you don’t… or maybe you do… or maybe not…
The book ends with Lina’s marriage and finding out that the man she loves and married, betrayed her.
So this is it everyone, I am not providing anymore details as I don’t want to spoil things. If I got you curious enough (I hope I did) than get the book and read it. I swear you won’t be disappointed.
By the way, this is my first review. I had read a few in the past, but I really wanted to pour my thoughts about the book in this post, so I really don’t know if “review” is actually the appropriate word to name this.
However, I stress that I intentionally didn’t want it to be
that long (if I am going to do others, they are not going to be long) because I don’t to drag you guys with details and information that will eventually turn out make it boring for you. I want you to keep reading my post and eventually end up reading the books and then come back commenting and then I will be very glad and proud. So please do make me proud ;p