By now the story of Lina and Elena is compelling: they are both, in their own ways captured by their poor but exciting Neapolitan neighbourhood as well as by each other. Both women struggle with these attachments; Elena, the narrator, in a more logical and calmly worked out way, Lila in a mysterious, almost magical way. But that is the heart of the book: Elena narrates and shows her working out, and Lila is wondered at and thought about but always defies explanation. It is this dichotomy that gives the novels their strength: the daunting mystery of Lila and the less obvious mystery of their narrators: why do they do what they do? Great writing.