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Those who leave and those who stay

Elena Ferrante's bestselling novels are a storytelling triumph

By Anthony Cummins   October 2015

A street scene in Naples, Italy, circa 1955. © Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Story of the Lost Child is the fourth and final part of a 1700-page saga that spans a half-century of friendship between two women born in a brutal mafia-run slum on the edge of Naples. In Ann Goldstein’s translation from the original Italian, previous books in the series (known collectively as the Neapolitan novels) have received rave reviews on both sides of…

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