For many, the final book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan epic needs no introduction. The Story of the Lost Child sees protagonists Elena and Lila struggling with the responsibilities of adulthood in an Italy wracked with political tension. Lost Child picks up where book three ends, and follows the cast of characters to a heart-wrenching, inevitable conclusion.
As those who have already fallen victim to ‘Ferrante Fever’ know, the Neapolitan Novels are wonderfully addictive. Hailed as the “publishing story of the decade” by the Sunday Times, the books have been discussed by critics from the LRB to the Guardian to Vogue, with James Wood at the New Yorker writing this: “Ferrante’s writing has no limits, is willing to take every thought forward to its most radical conclusion and backwards to its most radical birthing.”
With so much praise piled on the first three books, and readers taking to social media to declare their enthusiasm for the series, it’s safe to say The Story of the Lost Child is already generating a lot of buzz. Even for readers who have not yet begun the novels, its publication is prompting a frenzy of interest. We can expect the entire series, published by Europa Editions, to become an enormous seller over the coming weeks, and Lost Child to be one of the biggest releases of the year.
The other books in the Neapolitan series are: My Brilliant Friend (Europa, £11.99, 9781609450786), The Story of a New Name, (Europa, £11.99, 9781609451349) and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Europa, £11.99, 9781609452339).