Each month, Boris Kachka offers nonfiction and fiction book recommendations. You should read as many of them as possible.
The Story of the Lost Child, by Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions, September 1)
The four books in Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, of which this is the dark and clamorous finale, are really just one thick novel, but its piecemeal translation has allowed the pseudonymous author’s American cult to swell to Knausgaardian proportions. You’d have to start from book one in order to fully appreciate the complex friendship at its core, between intellectual Elena and tempestuous Lila, two women fated to live very different lives. In part four, Elena and her cohort age from their turbulent 30s to their 60s, raise and struggle with children, and seek solace in the unlikeliest place — the vibrant, violent Naples of their birth.