Leda is a middle-aged, divorced mother devoted to her work as an English professor. After the departure of her grown-up daughters, she takes a holiday on the Italian coast. But after a few days things become unsettling; on the beach she encounters a family whose brash behaviour proves menacing.
Leda is overwhelmed by memories of the difficult and unconventional choices she made as a mother and their consequences for herself and her family. The tale of a woman's rediscovery of herself soon becomes the story of a ferocious confrontation with the past.
The Lost Daughter is a profound exploration of the conflicting emotions that tie women to their children.
Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of Neapolitan Novels: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. Fragments, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings by Ferrante, will be published in early 2016. She is one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.
Ann Goldstein has translated all of Elena Ferrante's work. She is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award.
'Ferrante's gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral.' New Yorker
'This superb and scary Italian writer...has blown the lid off tempestuous parent-child relations.' Seattle Times
'So refined, almost translucent, that it seems about to float away, in the end this piercing novel is not so easily dislodged from the memory.' Boston Globe
'It's Leda's voice that's hypnotic, and it's the writing that makes it that way. Ferrante can do a woman's interior dialogue like no one else, with a ferocity that is shockingly honest, unnervingly blunt.' Booklist
'Ferrante's prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret.' Publishers Weekly
‘Ferrante’s uncompromising directness and her unflinching gaze cannot be faulted.’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald
‘With cold determination, Ferrante conveys both the selfishness and the courage that comes with admitting your own maternal shortcomings.’ New Zealand Listener