Book Review: My Beautiful Friend by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, translation by Ann Goldstein, Europa, 2012, NY.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, translation by Ann Goldstein, Europa, 2012, NY.

The world is a profound and unchartered place when you’re a young teenager. Relationships are difficult to navigate and you move like a changing and persistent breeze underneath your own front door, trying to find a way – any way – into the hallways of who you are and of friendship. Somehow, Elena Ferrante has captured this elusive breeze and painted a picture of Elena and Lila’s friendship that is so real you’d swear you were inside Elena’s mind. Ferrante allows Elena to hold nothing back, not even the darkness of her self-doubt and jealousy. At times I felt I was leaning against the wall, glass against ear, cheeks blushing with the closeness of it all.  Continue reading

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Letters to a Friend: The End of (this) Road

30.09.14: Wanaka, New Zealand (Katharine to Caroline)

Dear Caroline,

It’s been great to hear your voice again over the last few days. I’m so looking forward to our Wednesdays recounting adventures, alongside the laughter of our children and a glass of pinot. We’re homeward bound, and yes I am happy we’ve had such a wonderful adventure. As Hanz sums it up: “We’ve had a summer holiday and we’ve skied!”

Working out the work-life balance has seen me find a calm place where I’ve been noticeably more engaged. It’s an unfamiliar pace of life yet one that is without an anxious panic and increased heart rate. I sleep eight hours a night and feel less rushed; there are no lists to complete. Ironically as I reluctantly prepare for our journey home life here has also become more cemented; Coco has found her groove at day-care and tells me with tears she’ll miss her friends, my heart skips a beat. We’ve started to meet people, who I know if we lived here, I could easily become friends with, and we’ve established routines.

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How to Rock a Raincoat (and other stories from Georgia’s first day at school)

"Nov. 2006. U2 CONCERT. Awesome night. We traded bubbles for rubbish sacks and JB fashion us raincoats!"

“Nov. 2006. U2 concert. Awesome night. We traded bubbles for rubbish sacks and JB fashion us raincoats!”

“Does she go on the stage and sing songs for children?” Georgia asks.

“Not really. She’s more on TV and in movies for adults, not kids,” I say.

“Adult movies, Mama?”

Jez raises an eyebrow.

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