The Days of Abandonment

The Days of Abandonment

Book - 2005
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Rarely have the foundations upon which our ideas of motherhood and womanhood rest been so candidly questioned. This compelling novel tells the story of one woman's headlong descent into what she calls an "absence of sense" after being abandoned by her husband.
Publisher: New York : Europa Editions, 2005.
ISBN: 9781933372006
Branch Call Number: FERRANTE
Characteristics: 188 pages ; 21 cm.


From Library Staff

When her husband of 15 years dumps her for a barely-legal teen, Olga loses it. Where once she had been prim and proper, the picture of an upstanding mother and wife, divorce turns her into a raving, rage-filled animal on the brink of madness.

From the critics

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Feb 24, 2020

flan and nicolle love it

Sep 17, 2019

Elena does not write to bring comfort, she writes to transcend and blur the boundaries between reader and character. I was drawn into the whirlpool psychology of the abandoned protagonist seized with her angst, fear, anger, disorientation, grief, disbelief and profound sadness. While at the same time drawn like a moth to the possibility of light between the lines of despair. This is my first book of the Author's outside of her Neopolitan Series and her grasp of the human psyche continues to awe, inundate and entrance me. An emotionally challenging book, so possibly not ideal for anyone in their own throes of loss. My experience was comparable to biting into a juicy peach, which looks ripe and delicious; however, is tart and tangy when bitten, and yet your palate finds this strangeness ambrosial.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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