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This is the coming of age story of Giovanna, whose father reveals that she doesn’t have a pretty face, that she is like his dreadful unsophisticated sister, her Aunt Vittoria. With that new knowledge, Giovanna heads into the world adrift, keenly watching her parents, her aunt, her girl friends and their parents, teachers, and boyfriends, until she discovers Roberto, the intelligent studious and charismatic fiancé of Guiliana, and she falls in love. Roberto has managed to pull himself out of the poorest neighborhood, published articles about justice and religion, earning even her father’s respect. In Ferrante’s beautiful writing every psychological nuance is significant. Excellent novel, gorgeously translated from the Italian.

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