From Suzanne Corso comes a spirited debut novel about a girl’s lost innocence and dreams found just the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge . . . an affectionate, true-to-life tale of growing up, breaking away, and dreaming big.
This is BROOKLYN STORYIn the summer of 1978, Samantha Bonti is fifteen years old and navigating a dangerous relationship with an older boyfriend who’s devastatingly good looking—and an aspiring mobster. Half-Jewish, half-Italian, and hesitantly edging toward pure Brooklyn, Samantha lives in Bensonhurst with her mother Joan, a cynic shackled with addictions, and with Grandma Ruth, Samantha’s loudest and most opinionated source of encouragement. As flawed as they are, they are family. But when a girl wants something more, when tradition is a terrifying roadblock to the independent woman she wants to become, it’s time to break free and find one’s own way. Told from the adult perspective, this is a powerful story of leaving the past to history and the future to fate—as Samantha makes a move to restore hope where there was none, and reach for her dream of a new life as a writer in an inspiring promise of paradise called Manhattan.
What I Can Tell You:
As a young girl, I lived in Bensonhurst Brooklyn when I was 13 1/2 years old after my mom died. It was a big move for a young girl from Millbrook, NY and I never quite fit in. Brooklyn is like a different world and I moved out the day I graduated High School.
Suzanne's Brooklyn is the real Brooklyn. It is about honor, family, tradition, silence, and rising above. Samantha is a smart, head strong girl who loves with her beloved Grandma and her ailing mom. She meets Tony through her best friend and suddenly finds herself thrust into the "Brooklyn Boy" world where females are disrespected, silenced and forced to look the other way while their, macho bad boys "peacock" around.
While Samantha is smart, her studly boyfriend quickly has her wrapped around his finger as attention and hormones dumb her down but only momentarily.
I loved and felt for Samantha. She is a good girl who is sidetracked by the beautiful Adonis who takes her shopping, out to eat, and commands respect from the Brooklites on the street. What I loved most about this story beside the quick pace was how Suzanne, writes Brooklynese. I was transported back to the Ave, eating at the feast, hanging on the concrete stoops with my buds, while the sounds of the radio blasts through the oppressive heat.
This is Suzanne Corso's first novel and I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us.
I give this book a 5 out of 5! Great read.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from Simon and Schuster for my honest opinion.