By Franta Elena (Author)

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The mesmerizing four-volume journey, which excites readers in forty countries - a journey that began in 'The Genius Society' - continues in full force in the second volume of the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante, 'The Story of the New Surname'. The second book spans about seven years of the lives of the two friends, Leila and Elena, from the age of 16 to 23, from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1966. Ferrante continues to bring to life with extraordinary credibility the entire wide gallery of characters of the neighborhood, known to us from the previous volume - in fact, in In the 496 pages of the book, no more than seven or eight new characters were added - but the transformations in my life are all amazing. The book is so successful in landing new sensational surprises again and again, that The Times of London wrote about Ferrante that she is a kind of "Balzac meets 'The Sopranos' and rewrites feminist theory". The unique symbiotic relationship between Leila and Elena is further deepened in the second book, despite all the vicissitudes. Indeed, we find in it more jealousy between the two, more hatred, and also competition for proficiency, for writing, and even for a man's heart; There will be periods of disconnection between the two; And while Elena looks like someone who is building herself up, Lila seems like someone who is actually erasing herself through self-destruction. And yet, each of the two still realizes the other's dreams, unravels and builds from what she takes from her friend, while she experiences herself - with tension and fascination - compared to the other, in front of her imagined gaze. The crazy sound of one's mind echoes the sound of the other's mind. Among the dramatic actions that Elena does, there is hardly one that is not intended to be a "counter blow" to what she thinks her friend is currently doing. And the deep roots that one planted in the other even at the age of ten, grow something far-reaching now, at the age of 23. Read less

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