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The Family by Naomi Krupitsky
Historical fiction

The Family

Debut

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

by Naomi Krupitsky

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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, Icon_Literary

    Literary

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Nyc

    NYC

Synopsis

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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Free sample

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

PROLOGUE

July 1948

Shooting a gun is like jumping into cold water.

You stand there, poised on the edge, muscles coiled to leap, and at every moment until the last, there is the possibility of not doing it. You are filled with power: not as you jump, but just before. And the longer you stand there, the more power you have, so that by the time you jump the whole world is waiting.

But the moment you leap, you are lost: at the mercy of the wind and gravity and the decision you made moments before. You can do nothing but watch helplessly as the water looms closer and closer and then there you are, submerged and soaking, ice gripping your torso with its hands, breath caught at the back of your throat.

So a gun unfired holds its power. In the moments before trigger clicks and bullet is unleashed, beyond your grasp, out of your control. As thunder crashes in the distant wet clouds and the electric air raises the small hairs on your arms. As you stand, feet planted like your papa taught you just in case, shoulder flexed against the recoil.

As you decide and decide again.

Fire.

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Why I love it

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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Member ratings (17,604)

  • Ivette O.

    Bronx, NY

    Great cast of fully realized characters. Loved the idea of telling as kids who grew up in the life of ‘family’ and how it influenced and seemingly limited their choices. How it ‘ended’ was a surprise.

  • Lauren L.

    Kansas City, MO

    This book is amazing! Poetic in verse and a truly gripping description of these characters and their lives. I’m so close to the end, and I don’t want to put it down, but I also don’t want it to end!

  • Tammy V.

    Phoenixville, PA

    What makes a “family”? This is the question at the heart of this suspense novel. The depth to which you get to see into the soul of the main characters and the bond they share keeps you you focused

  • Katherine H.

    Chesapeake , VA

    Two strong female characters struggle and excel in their lives. They come together to form an unbreakable bond and separate when they need to when life called them apart. Fantastic female resilience.

  • Jesse G.

    Brooklyn, NY

    this book is amazing; the writing hooks you, the characters are easy to fall in love with, and the events of their lives are so compelling it feels like you’re living their lives right alongside them

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