The Lost Daughter – Book Review

Now that it is summer and I have finally finished writing school reports, it is time to get back to reading. Last week I finished a short book that I started a while ago about a woman with a difficult relationship with herself and her daughters. Here is my ‘The Lost Daughter’ book review.

I will be honest, the thing that attracted me to this book was a picture of Olivia Colman on the front page. She has apparently been in a film version of this and I thought it would be fun to check out the novella before watching her movie.

What’s it all about?

Elena Ferrante is the author of this lovely story, which has been translated from Italian into English. The main character, Leda, is a middle aged woman whose children have gone to live with their father in Canada. Leda teaches English and writes academic papers. Feeling freed up a bit she goes on holiday to Southern Italy for some ME time.

A fascination with a Neopolotan family who are often laughing or rowing by the beach, leads to some friction. Leda finds herself reflecting on her own motherhood, including a period where she ran away from her husband and daughters. She has a mixed bag of feelings towards motherhood and it is interesting to read about her tortured soul.


– Incredibly well written in short chapters. Easy to pick up and put down.

– Set near a beach, it is the perfect holiday companion.

– It really makes you think about not taking people for granted. Who knows what is going on in someone else’s head?

In A Nutshell

This story is clever and insightful but there is little action. It is more of a drama, with the internal monologue of Leda driving the story brilliantly.

I was really engaged in the book and love the way it meanders, with a comforting ebb and flow. I can totally recommend reading this wonderful book and now cannot wait to watch the film.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ‘The Lost Daughter’ book review. For another of my recommendations check out my thoughts on Frazzled by Ruby Wax. Perhaps you might also consider following my little blog for more book and TV reviews alongside environmental articles about global warming.

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