- There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and I did a terrible job of doing so. It took me almost until the end to realize/remember that Antonio and Alfonso were two different people.
- Wish I would have remembered as I was reading that there was a list of characters in the front. Boy, that would have helped.
- There is a fair amount of violence in this book - between adults, between kids, and between rival families. Kind of disturbing, but I'm quite certain that it's an accurate portrayal of the time.
- They had to learn to speak Italian in school? Don't they live in Italy? Turns out they normally speak in "dialect," which is apparently different enough from Italian that it needs to be learned as a whole separate language. Crazy.
- Even in an impoverished neighborhood, it's amazing how much a little money can affect your status.
- Lila and Elena's friendship was authentic. They were not always best friends. They did not always act like best friends. They were occasionally wildly jealous of each other, and they didn't always bring out the best in each other, either. But is that what having a best friend is truly like? If we're honest, we'll say that it's truer than we care to admit.
I'm not even going to try to give this book a typical review. I just finished it this morning, so I haven't had time to process it all. Even with time, I'm not sure I could come up with a coherent opinion. So instead, here are a list of some thoughts I had about this book:
Overall, I really did enjoy this book. I didn't love it, but I did enjoy it. And I respect it for its accurate portrayal of a gritty life in Naples. Was I intrigued enough by Lila and Elena to read the three other books in the series? Someday, for sure. Do I need to run out right now and devour them? No, but I do look forward to entering their world so completely again sometime down the road.
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.