The subtitle of The Story of the Lost Child, “The fourth and final Neapolitan Novel,” broadcasts to Ferrante devotees and momentous and bittersweet occasion: the conclusion of the emotional, intellectually stimulating, and, at times, soap-operatic saga of Lila and Lenù, and their lifelong friendship that begins and ends in a working-class neighborhood in Naples. The Neapolitan novels are habitually referred to as a story of female friendship, however that description, especially in light of this stunning fourth novel, has always felt reductive. They are less the story of female friendship that the story of female identity, particularly female intellectual identity, and how relationships–platonic, romantic, and maternal–threaten, challenge and shape that identity.
Readers are highly recommended to enjoy these books sequentially, beginning with My Brilliant Friend, but for those who can’t wait to dive into The Story of the Lost Child may refer to our study guide, “Previously on the Neapolitan Novels.”
– Halimah Marcus, Editorial Director, Electric Literature