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Times Critics' Top Books of 2020
Giovanna's pretty face has changed: it's turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself? She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.
Elena Ferrante is unsurpassed in her ability to draw readers into her books from the very first page and she proves this again with The Lying Life of Adults, pulling us into what the Italian trade magazine Il libraio described as 'not a mere story but an entire world.' The millions of readers who found themselves addicted to My Brilliant Friend and the Neapolitan quartet will find that this new novel has the same addictive, do-not-disturb-I'm-reading qualities.