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Tour: Brooklyn Story by Suzanne Corso

Friday, November 11, 2011

Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1978 , and Samantha Bonti is fifteen years old half Jewish and half Italian, whose dreams of something more are bigger than the neighborhood girls’ teased hair. She lives in Bensonhurst with her mother, Joan, a woman abandoned and scarred in a ruinous marriage, poisoned with cynicism, and shackled by additions; and with her Grandma Ruth, Samantha’s loudest and most pointed source of encouragement. As flawed as they are, they are family. Samantha’s best friend is Janice Caputo, girl who understands, as well as Samantha does, this close-knit community of ancestors and traditions that stand like roadblocks, this insular overcrowded little world of controlling mobsters who mold their women like Jell-O; and of the wannabes, the charismatic guys who are willing to engage in anything illegal to get a shot at playing with the big boys. Yet, Samantha has something Janice doesn’t – a desire to become a writer and to escape the destiny that is assumed for all of them in the outer reaches of Bensonhurst. And that dream is right across the Brooklyn Bridge. Then comes Tony Kroon.
Older than Samantha, Tony is a blond-haired, blue-eyed, half-Sicilian, half-Dutch mobster wannabe. A Bensonhurst Adonis. Samantha empathizes with Tony’s struggles and is taken in by his adoring attention. She falls in love, even though she is warned never to question Tony’s life. Even when her family and friends warn her to stay away. Even when Samantha knows she’s too smart to fall this deep…but the last thing she wants is the first thing to happen. Unable to resist Tony’s seductive charms, Samantha soon first herself swallowed up by dangerous circumstances that threaten to jeopardize more than her dreams. Grandma Ruth’s advice: Samantha had better write herself out of this story and into a new one, fast. Told from the adult perspective, this is a powerful, true-to-life novel of leaving the past to history and the future to fate – of restoring hope where there was none, and reaching for dreams in an inspiring promise of paradise called Manhattan.

Review: The Brooklyn Story by Suzanne Corso is a deep and thought provoking read. Semi-autobiographical this book focuses on Samantha, a fifteen-year-old living in Brooklyn who dreams of becoming a writer but falls short because of the relationship she's in. I found this story extremely sad. Samantha is caught up in a vicious cycle of abuse and although it leaves you with a glimpse of hope, the overall tone is a little depressing. The Brooklyn Story is well written and I enjoyed Corso's writing style with her in depth descriptions of Brooklyn. I've never been there, but I feel like I have now. What I loved most about this book besides the realness of the characters, was Samantha's drive to succeed with her dreams. I think there's a great message behind this book and I look forward to reading more from Suzanne Corso.

Available on: & B&
Format: Paperback
Source: submitted for review by publisher.
Status: READ 
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