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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925355741
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Book Review: Beach at Night by Elena Ferrante - Reviewed by CloggieA (03 Dec 2016)
The Beach at Night is a picture book for young readers by Italian author, Elena Ferrante. Readers familiar with Ferrante’s adult novella, The Lost Daughter will recognise the bones of this story in that one. When five-year-old Mati’s father brings her a black-and-white cat named Minù, she’s so taken by her new pet, Mati accidentally leaves her doll, Celina behind on the beach. Lying in the sand as night falls, Celina hopes someone will come back for her, but no one does. When the Mean Beach Attendant of Sunset comes along with his Big Rake, Celina is frightened. But this scary man is not the only thing she will have to deal with during her night on the beach.
Ferrante’s story has all the essential elements of a children’s story: adventure, danger, a bit of magic and a happy ending with a cute twist. All the Important Things are Capitalised, and there is some delightful descriptive prose: “The Storm is a lady in a long, dark-blue dress. She wears a crown of Lightning on her head and has a booming voice, because Thunderclaps are continually coming out of her wide mouth”. Mara Cerri provides the evocative and somewhat haunting illustrations, while the text is translated by Ann Goldstein. A book that will charm younger and older readers alike.
Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels- The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, 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, as well as Frantumaglia, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings. 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 Prize.
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