I’m still putting together my thoughts about the final installment in Ferrante’s tetralogy. I loved it. Not as much as the second and third installments. More than I love most books I read. Ferrante’s genius is in her ability to capture the minute in a landscape of expansive scope. In her ability to paint an entire life—decades—with intense attention to detail that, because of its complete lack of artifice, never leaves the viewer-cum-reader fatigued.
Is it a perfect novel? No. I wanted more, for example, from the lost child thread. Tina’s disappearance left a hole—but I didn’t feel like Ferrante explored its depth or the quality of its darkness as much as she might have.
Is it an almost perfect novel? Yes, I think so.
I also loved Judith Shulevitz’s thoughts on Ferrante’s style in her Atlantic review: The Hypnotic Genius of Elena Ferrante. “Emotional chiaroscuro” is exactly right.
To be adult is to disappear, is to learn to hide to the point of vanishing.