Elena Ferrante

The absence of sense

220px-i_giorni_dell27abbandono Every now and again I'll read a book that makes me wish I were in college again and it had been assigned, and we'd speak about it in discussion. The Days of Abandonment is one of those books. So good, and no one to talk about it with! (Until tomorrow, at least...a coworker recommended it to me.)

As the book opens, Olga has been married to her husband Mario for fifteen years. They have two young children, Ilaria and Gianni, and a German Shepherd named Otto, and overall, Olga believes they have made a good life for themselves.

Then Mario leaves her. What follows is a harrowing look into the mind of a woman whose life has been turned upside down, the stability of her life shredded, her responsibilities multiplied, including the care of the dog Mario convinced her to add to their family.

This story is about the fragile strings that tether us to our understandings of ourselves and our places in the world. The strings more fragile than we can bear. What happens when one is severed, but life still goes on?

It all crescendos to a spectacularly nightmarish day credible only in this context. And it's so worth your while.