The Days of Abandonment

The Days of Abandonment

Book - 2005
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Once an aspiring writer, Olga traded literary ambition for marriage and motherhood; when Mario dumps her after 15 years, she is utterly unprepared. Though she tells herself that she is a competent woman, nothing like the poverella (poor abandoned wife) that mothers whispered about in her childhood, Olga falls completely apart. Routine chores overwhelm her; she neglects her appearance and forgets her manners; she throws herself at the older musician downstairs; she sees the poverella's ghost. After months of self-pity, anger, doubt, fury, desperation and near madness, her acknowledgments of weaknesses in the marriage feel as earned as they are unsurprising.
Publisher: New York : Europa Editions, 2005, c2002
ISBN: 9781933372006
1933372001
Branch Call Number: F
Series:
Characteristics: 188 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Goldstein, Ann

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DBRL_Katie May 22, 2019

While short, this one is proving to be pretty difficult for me to get through. Olga the narrator painfully recounts her husband's abandonment of the family, and I must say, empaths better beware. I picked this up while I was thinking about lessor-known works by well-known authors, and I'm still glad I did despite how emotionally taxing it is. I vow to finish because I'm impressed with Ferrante's ability to elicit the kind of emotional response I've had. That said, every time I think about finishing it, I end up avoiding it because of its intensity. Update coming soon.

Update: Concludes with a hopeful ending, but my, what a fiery ride.

w
whataread
Mar 14, 2019

This book is everything others have said, the good, the bad, and the ugly of it. It is a searing portrait of a journey through shock and the crumbling it causes. At times it is a bit on the sociopathic side of humanity. Through an arc of darkness we go, hoping that light lies at the end of the tunnel. It is uncomfortably easy to identify with the character. It isn't for the mild mannered or prudish.

OPL_EllyR Mar 02, 2019

Ferrante's writing reminds me of a photorealist painting, in that the story rings true and accurate, with additions of small embellishments that only enhance the novel. Days of Abandonment is emotionally brutal and concise, and while her character is caught in a nightmarish moment, the matter-of-fact tracking of her days and actions kept the narrative from feeling terribly self-indulgent or stagnant. I loved how internal and honest Days is, and I can't wait to pick up more of Ferrante's work.

Follow Olga down the rabbit hole when she is abandoned by her husband: this book is about her struggle to get a grip on reality. She looks to the past for what went wrong, while wondering about her future. It’s real life, even the ugly bits that we may not wish to see/read. Have a look if you’re willing to get into the guts of a woman abandoned by her husband, I certainly found it very compelling. (submitted by RK)

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calvoer
Jun 24, 2018

I expected more from the great Ferrante. To American eyes, her 188 page outburst dragged on about 180 pages too long. Maybe Italians have more patience for this kind of self-indulgent thing.

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Bookafterbook
Dec 17, 2016

This is my first Elena novel and it was awesome. She holds nothing back. Can't wait to dive into the Neapolitan Series.

l
lostintheshelves
Sep 12, 2016

I read this after hearing it recommended as a brief, energetic introduction to acclaimed writer Elena Ferrante for those who don't have time to tackle her Neapolitan Quartet. It's certainly a riveting read, though I kept putting it down because Ferrante's portrait of depression--both the sense of losing emotional control and the frantic attempts to retain control that only make things worse--was so realistic and intense. I particularly loved the ending, because the harrowing nature of the story makes Olga coming back to herself and making peace with her ruined marriage is all the more powerful. It's an excellent book, but I'm not sure I'll be reading more of the author.

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singidunum_25
Jul 16, 2016

Great read! Deep, painful, lucid....excellent translation from Italian to English.....In 2005 movie was done based on this book, called "I giorni dell' abbandono" with amazing Margherita Buy as Olga. Original score was done by multitalented Goran Bregovic, who had a very small acting part as Damian. Worth of watching. This movie is offered on Kanopy streaming now.

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singasong70
May 18, 2016

Didn't like the book, vulgar when it didn't need to be, graphic that is. Didn't like the lead character either, so dependent it was hard to identify with her. Nor did the husband seem "real", more like a caricature of a bad husband than anything else, no spiritual connection between them so how could they last?
P.S. I had no trouble putting it down, put it down many times b/f I finished it.

e
empbee
Mar 03, 2016

A "terribly" good book. Honest and scary character description.
You like it or leave it but it captivates your attention.

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