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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 itself.
Two daughters. Two families. One inescapable fate.
Sofia Colicchio is a free spirit, loud and untamed. Antonia Russo is thoughtful, ever observing the world around her. Best friends since birth, they live in the shadow of their fathers’ unspoken community: the Family. Sunday dinners gather them each week to feast, discuss business, and renew the intoxicating bond borne of blood and love.
But the disappearance of Antonia’s father drives a whisper-thin wedge between the girls as they grow into women, wives, mothers, and leaders. Their hearts expand in tandem with Red Hook and Brooklyn around them, as they push against the boundaries of society’s expectations and fight to preserve their complex but life-sustaining friendship. 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.
About the Author
Naomi Krupitsky was born in Berkeley, California, and attended NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She lives in San Francisco, but calls many places home. The Family is her first novel.
Advance Praise for The Family
One of Parade’s Best Fall Books of 2021
“Mario Puzo meets Elena Ferrante in Krupitsky’s dynamite debut novel. . . Depicting twentieth-century Mafia families primarily from the female viewpoint is a fabulous concept that Krupitsky carries out with aplomb. Perspective shifts are smooth, and the backdrops of Prohibition and WWII are superbly realized. Italian American traditions (including delicious casseroles) are highlighted, and the unique immigration stories show why and how Italian and Jewish newcomers get pulled into organized crime. Fans of Adriana Trigiani and Lynda Cohen Loigman will inhale this tense, engrossing novel about family ties, women’s friendships, and the treacherous complications of loyalty.” —Booklist, starred review
“It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up all night to read a book…. Krupitsky has created a riveting story powerful in its realism.” —Diane Chamberlain, author of Big Lies in a Small Town
“Krupitsky has constructed a work of exquisite tension….A tremendous debut.” —Fiona Davis, author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
“For readers of Elena Ferrante and Mario Puzo, The Family is a compelling read. The themes of family, fate and friendship intertwine in the skilled hands of Naomi Krupitsky. Sofia and Antonia are best friends in Red Hook, Brooklyn where an unwritten set of laws rule their lives and family business. Loyalty, love, loss and redemption take this well told tale to a searing conclusion. You won't be able to put it down!”—Adriana Trigiani, author of Tony's Wife and The Shoemaker’s Wife
“Krupitsky beautifully captures [Sofia and Antonia’s] day-to-day lives under never-ending tension. The women’s rich stories make this worthwhile.” —Publishers Weekly
“Compelling and electrically charged…The Family explores the darkness that lurks just below the surface of compulsory Sunday dinners, forced family vacations, and the crushing obligations of silence and obedience.” —Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House and The Wartime Sisters
“A dazzling debut.” –Sarah Winman, author of Tin Man and Still Life
“Krupitsky’s fierce debut affirms the potential strength of female friendships against the backdrop of intergenerational trauma….The Family is elucidating and propulsive, a nimbly-written exploration of human connection.” —TaraShea Nesbit, author of Beheld and The Wives of Los Alamos
“[A] female version of The Sopranos...That’s the sign of an interesting book: when the narrator or protagonist lives an unusual, fascinating world—but doesn’t even really know it. As voyeurs, we get to watch two women love and lose, feel and learn, while losing ourselves in the staccato melody of Naomi’s prose.” —Katie Couric Media
“Fast-paced and readable, and the ebb and flow between Sofia and Antonia as secrets threaten their friendship propel the reader forward.” —Kirkus Reviews
"A nuanced evocation of lifelong female friendship in all its shifting, messy, gorgeous complexity." —Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light
“Lyrical, gripping, and richly evocative, The Family captures in exquisite emotional detail the fierce and complex friendship between two girls, as they mature within the constricting web of a Brooklyn midcentury crime family.” —Christina Schwarz, author of Drowning Ruth and Bonnie
“Reading this book is like listening in on an intimate conversation between friends, a glimpse of a world that feels deeply lived in and generously rendered. Naomi Krupitsky will make you laugh, cry, and long for a really good plate spaghetti. The Family feels like home.” —Emily Beyda, author of The Body Double
“Sweeping and consuming…with astutely observational prose and an insight into the importance of belonging and the meaning of family.” —Susie Orman Schnall, author of We Came Here to Shine
“A powerful story of friendship and loyalty. With luminous prose, Krupitsky deftly crafts a stunning coming-of-age tale of two girls growing up in the Italian mafia.…The Family is captivating; once I started reading this exquisite novel, I could not put it down.” —Jennifer S. Brown, author of Modern Girls