The Neapolitan Novels follow the lives of best friends Elena and Lila from childhood through to their senior years, as they try to create lives for themselves in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples.
The series is not only a great read but also deals with serious themes such as class conflict and the changing conditions of women in the 1970s.
As you read their story, you witness Elena and Lila’s journey from girlhood to womanhood and all the jealousy and competition in between that most best friends face at some time. As they become mothers they deal with ambivalence about their maternal roles and the pressures of raising children out of violent domestic and social environments. The characters and their struggles are very relatable and engaging.
The four titles in the series are:
My Brilliant Friend
The Story of a New Name
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
The Story of the Lost Child
The first two books have been made into a HBO television series called My Brilliant Friend. On April 30, 2020, the series was renewed for a third season, to be based on the third novel in the series, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.