I’m just one book away of finishing the Neapolitan Novels series and I’m already feeling blue. It’s hard not to feel an empty space in your life without Lenu and Lila. This is why I have started searching for books that have similarities with Elena Ferrante’s series and here is what I found.
If you enjoy facts about old Italy or to read about strong women existing in political spaces, here are some books that may inspire you.
5 books close to Elena Ferrante’s unique style
- “Nada”, by Carmen Laforet is based on the author’s own life. It’s the story of a young girl, Andrea, who resembles with Lenu and Lila’s lives by her personal experiences. Her journey meets the political turmoil of the time as well and her life without a family. In terms of writing style and narration, this book resembles Ferrante’s series.
- If you love strong women characters, “The Book of Fate” is inspirational and a life lesson. Masumeh is the perfect example of the destiny of Iran women. A character who has to face the hard times all alone, also taking care of her 3 children. This book will go straight to your heart and will make you meditate on life and fate.
- “The Years that followed”, by Catherine Dunn was acclaimed to be an international bestseller. And it’s the story of two women in Europe that want to revenge on people who hurt them at all costs. This is maybe the book that resembles the most with the Ferrante’s work. As it was described as “the Neapolitan Novels condensed in one novel.”
- “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie follows the story of 3 characters during the independence movement for the Biafra region of Nigeria. While Elena Ferrante’s books focus more on characters during their personal life under Islam, “Half of Yellow Sun” is more about the struggle of characters due to violence and Biafran war.
- “Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir” by Amy Tan it’s an emotional journal. There are the vivid memories of the author’s traumatic childhood, confessions of her self-doubt. So what she actually did was to bring together what made her become a writer. Amy Tan took the courage to dive into her past, pursue her sense of self and figure out what contributed to the wonderful writer she is now.
Which book will be my first choice?
There’s no doubt I will need some time to “digest” and absorb all I have learned from the Neapolitan Novels. Although, I’m sure someday I will open again those 4 books.
But now that I have made this research on the future books, based on Ferrante’s style, I might choose “The Years that Followed” first.
What about you?