Book Review :: My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante left me desiring. New shoes I wanted. Forth I sprung like a warrior with a credit card on a mission to find matching footwear for a story. For how could you write a novel that involves shoe making yet not describe the shoes.

What type of heels?
What type of straps?
Tassels or no tassels?
What type of stitching?
Closed or open toe?
endless questions like that.

How is the arch shaped?

Who writes a story where a shoe plays an important part of the narrative and forgets to describe the shoes? Even Cinderella had a well defined shoe. Dorothy from Wizard of Oz was not left to ponder annoying questions. I would have imbued each shoe element with meaning and marched the narrative on top of the worn out soles. Each stitch, buckle or ornament – a story fragment.

Finding interesting shoes in Vancouver is a foot ache. A mountain of bland black and brown. Sameness in every window display. I walked streets and malls. When I found the right ones, I could finally relax. I put them on and the reading experience felt complete. Bright pink shoes with white sequin flowers.


By magical coincidence, a friend gave me a white flower ring that is a perfect match. But that is whole another story. Rings that match shoes. A different kind of novel.

Overall My Brilliant Friend is a good novel. A satisfying read that suffers from a little annoying flaw. The first in a trilogy. I had reviewed the second part here. There third part I am yet to read. It will take me a while to match outfits to pink shoes and only then can I proceed. Will let this get worn out a little first.

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