I started reading this after finishing the Neapolitan novels, hoping to extend the exiting journey that Ferrante took me on. With such high expectations, I was bound to disappointment. It’s not that the book is bad, it just seems as a distant echo of her saga, with similar themes (closeness, domestic violence, clingy Napels), but without the captivating drive that would bind the reader to the pages. Maybe the problem lays in the outlines of her characters, which are too vague and dreamlike to give a novel a solidified reality that the author tries to convey. Or perhaps she grasped this reality in Neapolitan novels so thoroughly, that all her other work will feel as lacking something.