WARNING: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Naomi Krupitsky’s debut novel, The Family, was my November pick for my Book of the Month box. I’ve been in the mood for a historical fiction novel and this one seemed so interesting!
“In the vein of an American Elena Ferrante, a captivating debut novel about the tangled fates of two best friends and daughters of the Italian mafia, and a coming-of-age story of twentieth-century Brooklyn.
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.”
Read This If You Love…
- Poetic language
- Historical fiction
- The mafia
I have mixed feelings about The Family. I couldn’t help but notice how intricately woven Naomi Krupitsky’s words were. They were basically poetic, which is very unique for a novel. The basic plot of the book was interesting: the life of two women who are best friends and also daughters of two mob bosses.
That’s about where the interest began… and ended.
I felt zero emotions while reading this novel, except perhaps boredom. I think it was because of the way it was written. While the words were in fact beautiful and I often felt like I was reading a poem, they lacked emotion and connection. I felt zero connection to Antonia and Sofia, or really any of the characters.
The ending was also very weird to me. I didn’t see the point of Naomi Krupitsky saving a detail from the girls’ childhood until the very end when I think it would have been better off mentioned towards the beginning so it could be something the reader would keep in mind as the story unraveled.
The Family still gets three out of five paws because of the unique way it was written. I just wish it would have been more exciting!
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, The Family was a BOTM pick for November! If you are interested in subscribing, click this link and we can read together.