The Family; Naomi Krupitsky
G.P. Putnam and Penguin Audio - 11/2021 - (9 hrs. 53 min.)
Narrator - Marin Ireland
Set in the late 1920s in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, The Family, tells the story of two best friends whose fathers, Joey and Carlos, were part of the Italian Mafia. Sofia Colicchico and Antonia Russo were best friends from a very young age, their families even had Sunday dinners together. The girls knew their fathers worked together but what they did was a mystery. When Antonia's father Carlos goes out one night and never returns, it is Joey who steps up and takes care of the fatherless Russo family. As the girls grow, marry and become mothers their lives take a much different turn and fissures in their relationship begin to show but, they remain friends.
What happens when someone wants out of the "family?"
I wasn't sure this book was going to be for me but, I found it to be a rather powerful coming of age story. The husbands of Sofia and Antonia added much interest to the story as well (Antonia marries a Jew). I liked the time period: prohibition, the Great Depression and WWII. I also enjoyed the background on how the Mafia and the protection aspect first came into play. I found some parts of the book to be a bit repetitive and I knew the ending would be somewhat shocking or surprising at the very least. I wasn't disappointed. This book seems to have sequel potential as well. The audio book was read by Marin Ireland who did an excellent job. I think this debut is worth reading and was happy I tried it.
Rating - 4/5 stars