I read the first one, My Brilliant Friend and couldn't see what everyone was raving about. A fellow book lover felt the same and so did a Times collumist. I think it's a question of the Emperors new clothes, Chelseababy. Would be interested to hear other people's opinions.
I absolutely agree with you JennyB. I'd read rave reviews but was very disappointed with the book - I too read My Brilliant Friend. Another member of my reading group also felt the same about it as I did.
I loved them! I've read all 4. I found the writing to be very powerful and the characters to be very believable with their flaws and emotions. I found it to be compelling reading as I wanted to know how Lenu and Lila's lives developed and if they made it out of the neighborhood. As they grew older I loved their growing political and social awareness and how they both fought to improve their lives. As I reached the end of the 4th book I became very sad as I realised that my time with these two strong characters who I felt like I had really come to know was coming to an end. I ended up rationing the last 50 pages to 10 pages a day to extend my time with them!
I read the 1st volume for a book group and it was unanimously liked. In fact, it was liked so much so that we agreed to read all 4 and then reconvene to discuss them.
My book club also read My Brilliant Friend as it had been recommended by many. Initially I loved it, however as the book progressed I fell a little out of love with it. Nobody within the group had enjoyed it. If i have the space in my life , I will try the next one in the series