The Lying Life of Adults

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Life isn’t easy for teenage Giovanna. After overhearing her father compare her appearance to that of her reviled aunt Vittoria, Giovanna becomes obsessed with meeting her aunt so she can see Vittoria’s face for herself. Feeling guilty for what Giovanna overheard, her parents agree to the meeting. Though they themselves keep their distance, Giovanna grows close to Vittoria and her neighbors, eventually growing closer to these volatile teenagers than she is to her childhood friends Angela and Ida. Meanwhile, Giovanna’s home life implodes when her father’s affair with Angela and Ida’s mother is revealed. Faced on all sides with adults’ inexplicable, tangled relationships, Giovanna must navigate her own coming of age in a Naples that offers too much raw heartache.

Ferrante, true to form, is unflinching in her depiction of female adolescence, and the title alone is a clear indication of what Giovanna will discover as she journeys to adulthood. Mistakes, grudges, betrayals, heartbreak, infidelity, cruelty–all of these things have been in Giovanna’s life, but only when she casts off her childhood can she see them clearly. Giovanna senses that female friendship are critically important, but even those are mercurial and, sometimes, full of shame. Lying Life is a clear-eyed, evocative reminder that the terrain of adulthood is as fraught as the darkest corners of Naples.


Reviewed By:

Author Elena Ferrante
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 324 pages
Publisher Europa Editions
Publish Date 2020-Sep-01
ISBN 9781609455910
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2021
Category Popular Fiction
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