I just finished…

…”The Story of the Lost Child,” the final volume in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet. I don’t think you should read it if you haven’t read the others, but Adele, who did one-and-a-portion, is giving it a go. I or Wikipedia can fill her in with what she missed, I guess; then maybe she can fill me in on the full implications of what Ferrante has delivered. Otherwise, I will need a course or multiple re-reads, when I would rather move on to the next book in my stack.

Anyway, “Child” is loaded. Births, murders, natural deaths. Relationships come and go, some of great endurance, some within a single sentence. There is politics and sociology, history and the warring demands of career and family. Years can pass within a paragraph; characters with whom you have been embroiled for three volumes may disappear like a loose thread snipped. So much was happening, for much of the book, I wondered if Ferrante had forgotten the question she posed at the beginning of the first volume — and if the “Child” in the title was actual.

I am nowhere near giving these works justice, so let me quote the “Guardian” reviewer: “I am not sure I have read a more frightening account of a friendship, or a more unsentimental view of the use that human beings have for one another…”