Elena Ferrante

The Lost Daughter

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Another penetrating Neapolitan story from New York Times–bestselling author of My Brilliant Friend and The Lying Life of Adults.
Now a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Paul Mescal, and Peter Sarsgaard
Leda, a middle-aged divorcée, is alone for the first time in years after her two adult daughters leave home to live with their father in Toronto. Enjoying an unexpected sense of liberty, she heads to the Ionian coast for a vacation. But she soon finds herself intrigued by Nina, a young mother on the beach, eventually striking up a conversation with her. After Nina confides a dark secret, one seemingly trivial occurrence leads to events that could destroy Nina’s family in this “arresting” novel by the author of the New York Times–bestselling Neapolitan Novels, which have sold millions of copies and been adapted into an HBO series (Publishers Weekly).
“Although much of the drama takes place in [Leda’s] head, Ferrante’s gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral.” —The New Yorker
“Ferrante’s prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret.” —Publishers Weekly
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154 printed pages
Publication year
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  • gerardinosshared an impression2 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    🔮Hidden Depths
    💡Learnt A Lot

  • Sofia Mendozashared an impression3 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • Nast Huertahas quoted2 years ago
    They are strong ships, I said to myself, nothing can hold them back. I, on the other hand, have only restraints. It was the fear I’d had of these people since childhood, and at times disgust, and also my presumption of having a superior destiny, an elevated sensibility, that up to now had kept me from admiring their determination. Where is the rule that makes Nina pretty and Rosaria not. Where is the rule that makes Gino handsome and this threatening husband not.
  • Nast Huertahas quoted2 years ago
    “I was resigned to living very little for myself and a great deal for the two children: gradually I succeeded.”

    “So it passes,” she said.


    She made a gesture to indicate a vertigo but also a feeling of nausea.

    “The turmoil.”

    I remembered my mother and said:

    “My mother used another word, she called it a shattering.”

    She recognized the feeling in the word, and her expression was that of a frightened girl.
  • Nast Huertahas quoted2 years ago
    I feel the child’s tears under my fingertips, I’m still hitting her. I do it gently, the gesture is under my control but decisive, and the intervals are getting smaller: not a possibly educational act but real violence, contained but real.

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