Set in mid-century Brooklyn, a story of a decades-long friendship between two women bound by the sins of their fathers.
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Why I love it
Author, The Magnolia Palace
At the heart of Naomi Krupitsky’s thrilling debut is the paradox that while one’s family is typically a source of protection and comfort, there is also the potential for terrible harm. And when we’re talking about a “family” of Italian mobsters in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in the early- to mid-twentieth century, the stakes rise even higher.
As young girls, Sofia and Antonia are best friends and next-door neighbors whose fathers work for the mafia. But after a sudden act of violence starkly clarifies the hierarchy within the organization, Antonia escapes into the world of books, while Sofia develops her own thirst for power. Over twenty years, their lives weave together and drift apart over love affairs, crises, and childbirths. Krupitsky deftly dips into the point of view of other key characters as the novel hurtles toward its astonishing conclusion.
Written in startling, beautiful prose (you will be repeating sentences out loud, just to savor them, I promise), The Family explores how one lives with uncertainty and betrayal, and what happens when powerlessness turns into a destructive rage. I adored this book—a rare combination of a page-turner that reads like poetry.
Two daughters. Two families. One inescapable fate.
Sofia Colicchio is a free spirit, a loud, untamed thing. Antonia Russo is thoughtful, ever observing the world around her. Best friends from birth, their homes share a brick wall and their fathers are part of an unspoken community that connects them all: the Family. Sunday dinners gather the Family each week to feast, discuss business, and renew the intoxicating bond borne of blood and love.
Until Antonia’s father dares to dream of a different life and goes missing soon after. His disappearance drives a whisper-thin wedge between Sofia and Antonia as they become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflicted friendship. Both women are pushing against the walls of a prison made up of expectations, even as they remain bound to one another, their hearts expanding in tandem with Red Hook and Brooklyn around them. One fateful night their loyalty to each other and the Family will be tested. Only one of them can pull the trigger before it’s too late.