Author Naomi Krupitsky’s debut novel starts in the 1920s and goes through the late 1940s. Sofia Colicchio and Antonia Russo are best friends and were raised together. For most of their years growing up, they were each other’s only friend as it was well known in their Brooklyn neighborhood that their fathers were members of the local mob. “The Family.” The girls were simply told that their fathers’ jobs entailed “helping people.” They quickly learned that was not the case. The closeness of the two families ended when Antonia’s father disappeared. And once again, the children knew exactly what that meant. Sofia’s father Joey earns a larger role in the organization and things will never be the same for the two friends. As the years progress, both Sofia and Antonia find love, marry, have children and have to come to terms with the life they were born into.
While it is clear that the mob members get involved in very bad behavior, the focus is on Sofia and Antonia and how their lives evolve and the conflicts they are faced with. The brutality that their loved ones are involved in take a back seat to the deep emotions the two daughters feel through the years. Regret, anger, love, fear, disillusionment. The men come across very human as well. We get the sense that they would have chosen a different path if given the chance.
The Family checks off many appealing boxes. It’s historical fiction. The story takes place in Brooklyn (where I was raised, so that’s a plus.) It is about friendship and family. And organized crime. What a combo! Krupitsky is an excellent writer and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: November 2, 2021.
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