For the past few years, Europa Editions has been bringing out Elena Ferrante’s series of literary novels about an edgy, decades-long friendship between two women in Naples. The fourth and final of the “Neapolitan Novels,” titled The Story of the Lost Child, has just been published. It’s spectacular, but you will realize how spectacular it is only if you do not cheat. You must read the three earlier (also superb) Neapolitan Novels, or the perfect devastation wreaked by the conclusion of this last novel will be lost on you.
— recommended by Maureen Corrigan, book critic, Fresh Air