The Days of Abandonment

Title: The Days of Abandonment Author: Elena Ferrante
Pages: 188 Genre: Fiction
Recommended: If you like books like explore the human psyche and don’t mind graphic scenes. Also a good read for feminists.
Song: “Alone” by The Morning After Girls

It’s not often that I pick up a book by a contemporary Italian author, so I felt very cultured reading this one.

In “The Days of Abandonment”, we meet Olga, a normal middle- aged mother who has stayed at home with the kids until her husband leaves them for another (younger) woman.

This short book overs the eternity of time (probably a few months) that Olga processes, comes to terms, and moves on from this abandonment.

External Struggle

All of Olga’s actions are understandable, such as absentmindedness, a rebound one night stand, self-loathing and blame, and anger at her husband. She really doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary, and the series of events follow her descent into depression, wallowing in grief, and then ascent back to her new normal.

Internal Struggle

This is much, much more interesting. Olga has no trouble expressing her disgust, insecurities and depression in vivid, graphic images. She sees glimpses of her husband in the throes of passion with his new lover. She sees decay. She sees the worst in everyone and openly admits that the worst came out in herself.

I’ve read a lot of books written by women, for women. I’ve never felt like a woman’s true, deep feelings were put so openly on the table. Our deepest, darkest thoughts are not often expressed, simply because they can be so grotesque. Thanks to Elena Ferrante for being so candid!

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