The Godmothers

Camille Aubray. Morrow, $27.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-298369-5
Aubray (Cooking for Picasso) delivers an addictive and tense multigenerational feminist romp through WWII-era New York City, where a quartet of Italian sisters-in-law run a crime family. In 1980, 30-something narrator Nicole, whose precise placement in “the Godmothers’” family tree is only revealed in the final act, delves into whether her family has any secrets while her husband prepares to take a job in the Carter administration. This prompts the telling of “the whole story,” taking the reader back to 1930s Italy and New York City, as chapters alternate between each of the godmothers of Nicole and her cousins. There’s stylish, Barnard-educated Petrina; nurse Lucy; unstable Amie; and Filomena, who flees Naples under a false name in 1943. After the women marry into the crime family, their husbands go off to war and they take charge. In the ensuing decades, the family battles a rival crime organization, losing some members to murder, and one of the godmothers gets pregnant with another’s husband’s baby. The enormous cast and multiple complicated subplots are smoothly handled, with the tensions between the godmothers easily propelling the narrative. This credibly flips the script on male-dominated Mafia stories. Agent: Susan Golomb, Writer’s House. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/06/2021
Release date: 06/15/2021
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-298371-8
Paperback - 592 pages - 978-0-06-309027-9
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