Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay/ The Neapolitan Novels, Book 3 – Audiobook Online

In “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay,” the third book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels series, the story continues to follow the lives of childhood friends Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo. Set against the backdrop of Naples in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this installment delves deeper into the complex dynamics of their friendship and the societal changes happening around them.

The novel explores themes such as feminism, politics, social class, and the struggles of women in a male-dominated world. Elena pursues her education and writing career while navigating the challenges of motherhood and marriage. Meanwhile, Lila faces her own set of difficulties as she grapples with personal tragedies and strives to assert her independence.

As their paths diverge, Elena and Lila find themselves on separate trajectories that test the strength of their bond. The novel paints a vivid portrait of post-war Italy and captures the essence of friendship, ambition, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Overall, “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” is a compelling continuation of Ferrante’s Neapolitan series that delves deep into the complexities of female friendship and the pursuit of self-fulfillment in a changing world.

In the third book in the New York Times bestselling Neapolitan tetralogy that inspired the HBO series My Brilliant Friend, Elena and Lila have grown into women.

Lila married at sixteen and had a young son; she left her husband and the comforts that marriage brought and is now working as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned a college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which open the door to a world of erudite interlocutors and richly furnished salons.

Both women are up against the walls of a prison where they should have lived a life of misery, ignorance and submission. They are floating on the sea of great opportunity that opened up for women in the 1970s. And yet, they are still very much tied together in a book that “demonstrates Ferrante’s powerful storytelling ability and will make Readers are eagerly waiting to see the final episode of the series.”

“The One Who Goes and The One Who Stays” reflects the difference between doing and thinking. “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” is the final book in a trilogy by an author known by the pen name Elena Ferrante. It’s a book about Italy in the 1960s and 70s. As in America, this was a time of great social upheaval in Italy. Student revolution and class struggle are the headlines of the Italian media. In Italy, neo-Nazis and communist parties compete for seats in Parliament at opposite ends of the political spectrum. A neo-Nazi party pressed to capitalize on the economic prosperity of the 1950s while communist sympathizers criticized the economic disparity between owners and workers.

The author reflects on how formal education and street wisdom impact social change. The main character Elena Greco is a lower-class Italian who is famous and wealthy thanks to being the first in her family to graduate from university. She is a writer. She is a thinker. In Ferrante’s story, Greco’s first book is published to widespread acclaim for its depiction of a girl growing into a woman. Greco is struggling to find his way through middle life by writing a second book. She has a tumultuous relationship with her mother, who secretly admires her daughter’s achievements and abilities. She got engaged, married a rising university professor and gave birth to two children. However, she increasingly resented her husband’s intellectual beliefs and dominance of personal interests.

The author’s counterculture character, Lila. comes from the same neighborhood as Elena, but in contrast to Elena, escapes poverty by marrying a relatively successful businessman, whom she later divorces. The divorce can be explained in many different ways and for different reasons, but the immediate consequence is that Lila returns to poverty. Lila did not pursue a formal education but was educated on the streets. She is the doer. She is tough, thoughtful and independent. She has two children, a daughter with her ex-husband and a son whom she was pregnant with during the divorce. She, like Elena, has a tumultuous relationship with her mother. The relationship seems irreparable because her mother believes she is a whore who has left the husband who gave her the security and respect of the extended family. To survive, Lila broke up with her extended family, went to work in a sausage factory, and lived with a male friend to reduce living expenses. Partly out of necessity, Lila left her son with a neighbor while she went to work. Lila resents the unshared burden of motherhood as a single woman.

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