Wednesday 14 October 2015

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

Thanks to Andi's #15in31 challenge this month I have been ripping through all those half-finished books lurking in my backpack and by my bed.

The Days of Abandonment was my backpack book, mostly due to it's slimness. But as it turned out, the emotional impact of this book worked best in small doses as well.
(My backpack book is the book that only gets pulled out at lunch time. It gets read in small, quick bites.)

"One April afternoon, right after lunch, my husband announced that he wanted to leave me."
So begins Olga descent into disbelief, despair, and her days of abandonment.

This is raw stuff.

Ferrante delves into the deep, dark days of the soul after a break-up. Some sections are hard to read. You want to avert your eyes and push the pain away any way you can.

You feel Olga's helplessness, you feel her rage. You want to shake her and tell her to wake up to herself. You wish she had a little more dignity and a little less bitterness.

Once again, you are left feeling that Ferrante must be writing from real life. The details are so specific and so authentic that it feels like you're intruding on someone's personal journal.

This is not an easy read, or a happy read.
But it is a very human reading experience.

Book 9 read for #15in31 challenge.

My reviews for My Brilliant Friend
The Story of a New Name
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
The Story of the Lost Child


  1. I LOVED this book. Her stories are dark but memorable. (Mine had a different cover)

    1. Yes, her characters and their actions do have a way of getting in under your skin. It almost feels like its happening to you, which can be a bit disconcerting at times!

  2. I've read 5 Ferrante novels so far this year - The Lost Daughter and all four Neopolitan novels. They certainly have a distinctive feel and style, and I would love to know how much is based on personal experience. Can't help but think most of it is. I'm adding this to my wish list.

  3. This sounds like something I would enjoy. I love how authentic it felt and that you were reading someone's personal journal.


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