Olga’s husband Mario has just left her and her two young children for a younger woman, with zero warning. Over the next two days, her world falls apart: a sick child and a misbehaving dog derail her sanity completely, and she becomes literally trapped in her apartment. A sense of outsized dread and terror builds with each sentence, making the book impossible to put down til the final page. Olga’s interiority is so skillfully rendered as to be horribly familiar to anyone who’s ever been devastated by loss and grief. So, well, not our most lighthearted pick, but a perversely enjoyable read nonetheless and an overdue introduction (for us, at least!) to this great author’s work.
Elena Ferrante is an Italian novelist whose books are published in the U.S. by Europa Editions. Her most recent novel is the acclaimed The Story of the Lost Child.