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The Family by Naomi Krupitsky
Historical fiction

The Family

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Naomi Krupitsky, on your first book!

by Naomi Krupitsky

Quick take

Set in mid-century Brooklyn, a story of a decades-long friendship between two women bound by the sins of their fathers.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Literary


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Nyc


Why I love it

Fiona Davis
Author, The Lions of Fifth Avenue

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.

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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.

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Get an early look from the first pages of The Family.

Member thoughts

All (3387)
All (3387)
Love (1356)
Like (1745)
Dislike (286)
3421 ratings
  • 40% Love
  • 51% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • Waterbury, CT

    So beautifully written - I felt like I was in the apartment for Sunday Family dinner. Raw & real w/o throwing the violence in your face. Emphasized the power and perspective of the women in the Family

  • Richmond, VA

    The way of wrong here is so lovely, the descriptions made it feel like I was there with the characters. It was almost as if someone was telling me a story aloud rather than me reading a book. Loved it

  • Woodland Park , CO

    A beautiful book with characters whom I will live with for weeks. As a Sicilian American from the East Coast and a novelist she pulls off the rare historical fiction journey that resonates. Buy now!


    Great story. All the characters were interesting. Would have like to see more of Lina at the end. She kind of drifted away and with what she was doing it seems she should have had more of a role.

  • Hillsdale, MI

    The language + writing are incredible. Characters are well-developed+ likable. No climax or major storyline; more seeing these people in a snippet in time. Female perspective (unique). Worth reading.

  • Loxahatchee , FL

    I love the mafia and WWII era historical fiction, so this one was right up my alley! I wasn’t a huge fan of the lack of dialogue and thought the first half was a touch slow, but overall I liked it!

  • Chula Vista, CA

    I loved that the background and perspective of all the main characters is given, so that you fully understand how they all came to be. It was a really interesting story and I’m glad I picked it up.

  • Niles, OH

    What an amazing read! The author conveyed many emotions through the characters that I felt like I knew them so well. The rawness and vulnerability of growing as a mother and friend was so relatable.

  • Boerne, TX

    This isn’t The Godfather from the women’s perspective - it’s an insightful and really well written account of mafia life and how it affects the women involved; both directly and peripherally.

  • Charlotte, NC

    Great book that I hope becomes a classic! The author delves into timeless aspects of the lives of girls, teenagers, women, and mothers alike. An emotional book I will read over and over again ❤️

  • Spartanburg, SC

    I love novels about deep connections between female friends, and this is a wonderful example. Sofia and Antonia are witnesses to each other’s lives, and protect each other fiercely, without fail

  • Gettysburg, PA

    Incredible female perspective on what can be an overwrought genre. Absolutely incredible story with moving, fully-formed characters. If you’re looking for complex female narratives, this is it.

  • Georgetown, KY

    I love books about women in the Mafia AND books about deep and lasting female friendship, so this was a home run for me. The prose was beautiful and evocative. Hard to believe it's a debut novel!

  • New Braunfels, TX

    I am surprised at how much I loved this book. It has none of the usual trappings that I look for in a book, but I loved it. I craved it when I couldn't read it and was sad when it was over.

  • bridgewater, MA

    Intricate story of two childhood friends and the very different paths they took to adulthood while dealing with their mafia family. Very interesting read for those interested in mob stories!

  • Brooklyn, NY

    I just loved this book so much. I normally wouldn’t have chosen something like this and so glad I did. The writing is lyrics to your favorite song. I was enthralled the whole way through.

  • Grandview , TX

    I love this book! Antonia is so relatable to me and I feel her desire for a normal life so strongly. Sofia is so lively and reminds me of my own sister. The book is both sad and incredible

  • Westlake, OH

    I got this book because it sounded like it would be a mafia type Sopranos story. Not exactly the same but I loved the story and ties that bind the characters. I highly recommend this.

  • Canonsburg, PA

    This book blew me away. I can't believe it's the author's debut. The character development is fantastic and the plot kept me engaged from the first page to the last. I absolutely loved it.

  • Mundelein , IL

    As the font indicates, this mafia story is reminiscent of The Godfather- though with a feminine emphasis. The present-tense, omniscient style takes some getting used to but I enjoyed it!

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