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Anonymous Writer Elena Ferrante Proves Motherhood’s A Bitch

On a recent vacation, this SMM was intrigued to find another mother across the pool reading Elena Ferrante’s, “Days of Abandonment.”
“How can she enjoy that book on a family vacation?” I marveled to my husband. Anticipating he would not ask for more details, I leaned across and whispered, “It’s every mother’s dirty secret.” I had him.
“What?” he asked, looking up in horrified anticipation.
“This writer who remains anonymous much to the chagrin of her adoring fans, writes consistently about one thing: the desire to abandon your children.”
“And you read this?”
“Why?” he asked, stupidly.
“Well, because it makes you feel not alone to know that someone else out there fantasizes about throwing it all away, the good and the bad. It’s the flip side of the motherhood coin,” I went on. But to his point, Elena’s Ferrante’s books wreck me every single time. They go to the core of what’s toughest about Motherhood, in mundane predicaments that quickly spin out of control. Her style is superbly intimate without being suffocating, though be prepared to grip your rocker when she unveils how Motherhood both engulfs and distances child from mother, as well as the plunging emotional depths that can stir a mother to consider abandoning her own children.


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