And so I finally caved in to the massive hype surrounding this opus.
In many ways it reminded me of Kristina Sandberg's 'Att Föda Ett Barn' : The subject-matter is sadly under-explored, and in dire need of hype.
Where Sandberg dealt with a Swedish smalltown housewife, Ferrante narrates the life of two working class girls in Naples - funnily, both series are set in the glorious boom period 1945-75. The plot is rich with insight and nonconformity, and I really wanted to like this.
But. I have issues with the writing style. For instance, the point of view is incoherent; first person, internal focalization occasionally swerves into omniscience in a way that feels both awkward and uncontrolled.
Overall, I found Ferrante's writing ambitious and easy access, though just not very elegant.
The bottom line is, I guess, that if I cannot have both style and plot in the same book, I will always choose style over plot.