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The Lost Daughter Paperback – March 1, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 206 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The arresting third novel from pseudonymous Italian novelist Ferrante (Troubling Love) pursues a divorced, 47-year-old academic's deeply conflicted feelings about motherhood to their frightening core. While on vacation by herself on the Ionian coast, Leda feels contentedly disburdened of her two 20-something daughters, who have moved to their father's city of Toronto. She's soon engrossed in watching the daily drama of Nina, a young mother, with her young daughter, Elena (along with Elena's doll, Nani), at the seashore. Surrounded by proprietary Neapolitan relatives and absorbed in her daughter's care, Nina at first strikes Leda as the perfect mother, reminding herself of when she was a new and hopeful parent. Leda's eventual acquaintance with Nina yields a disturbing confession and sets in motion a series of events that threatens to wreck, or save, the integrity of Nina's family. Ferrante's prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret. (May)
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From The New Yorker

In this brutally frank novel of maternal ambivalence, the narrator, a forty-seven-year-old divorcée summering alone on the Ionian coast, becomes obsessed with a beautiful young mother who seems ill at ease with her husband’s rowdy, slightly menacing Neapolitan clan. When this woman’s daughter loses her doll, the older woman commits a small crime that she can’t explain even to herself. Although much of the drama takes place in her head, Ferrante’s gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral, as when the narrator recalls the "animal opacity" with which she first longed for a child, before she was devoured by pregnancy.
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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
206 customer ratings
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RedPen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted disturbing novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 23, 2016
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3.0 out of 5 stars Complex but not rewarding
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite
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5.0 out of 5 stars A++++
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 22, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read and Enjoy
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 25, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good & thought provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2016
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
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3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but very readable
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend it
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