Curator Reviews

Nia Vardalos

This is the first book in a fascinating series of four novels that will make you want to hold on tight to your own brilliant best friend.

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William Finnegan

The first volume in the Neapolitan quartet, this one changes in the mind’s eye if you’re pulled, as I am, helplessly through the subsequent books, with its primal scenes from early childhood deepening throughout. Is there a better portrait of friendship in literature than the story of Elena Greco, the narrator, and her brilliant friend, Lila Cerullo? Elena escapes the old neighborhood, and the poverty of postwar Naples, through education, but Lila remains the incandescent figure. The tormented power of their relationship never flags, through “The Story of a New Name,” “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay,” and the devastating “The Story of a Lost Child.” I hear the TV series is good. The books are a universe.

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