The East-Hampton Star

Best-Read Man’s 10 Best of 2015

By Kurt Wenzel

“The Story of the Lost Child”

By Elena Ferrante

The fourth and final installment of Ms. Ferrante’s Neapolitan cycle. The books follow two women — the brilliant, inward-looking Elena and her larger-than-life friend Lila — as they try to escape their violent, provincial upbringing in Naples. In this volume, Elena returns to Naples to be with the man she has always loved and tries to renew her friendship with Lila.

Like the previous three installments, “The Story of the Lost Child” offers little in the way of plot. Instead, Ms. Ferrante offers lifelike portraits of two of the most flawed and fascinating women in contemporary literature, along with a comprehensive look at a country painfully trying to drag itself from cloying tradition into modernity. (Europa Editions, $18)