Customer Reviews for

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers: A Memoir

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    Excellent, Emotional Read

    I really enjoyed this book. It's an emotional memoir of a young girl growing up in an confused, ever changing world. I am not a "cryer" but I cried like a baby during the parts when her parents pass away. This was my first Nook Book and I am glad I read this book. It's worth the read for sure!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    Never ending!

    This story could have been told a hundred different ways. I started this book out with really high hopes, and maybe that's why I was let down. It was a good story to tell, however, it could have ended with 100 less pages. It began to be drawn out, and in the end, this book took me about 4.5 months to even finish which is really long for me to even read a book. I read the first half in a few days. The story just really lost me after the first half.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    The Italian Way

    Don't Tell Our Business to Strangers is an enticing thriller that leads us in Jennifer Mascia's past. Her father was arrested when she was five and ever since she was a teenager she had been asking her mom for the details for that arrest. The title comes from a childhood memory when her mom told her "we don't tell our business to strangers," and I think it goes well with the book since her parents hid her from the morbid truth. She had to become creative to find out the truth about her family. This book is endearing and at times sad, but the combination makes it a good read. I recommend to everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Never Tell Our Business To Strangers

    I enjoyed this non-fictional story of a young woman who became more aware of her parents' background (and more about how it affected her life), after her parents died. She was always told just enough information to satisfy her throughout her years of growing up, but later discovers so much more about her father's criminal past, and her parents' lives, from how they met, and continuing on through the years. If you enjoy reading true stories, this book is very interesting. I wondered how I would feel if the author's life had been mine. It makes you think!
    JK

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  • Posted March 30, 2010

    Good story, but long and drawn out.

    This memoir might have been good if the main character wasn't crying all the time. I read it word for word faithfully for the first half, but it just dragged on with more and more of the same. Finally ended up skimming the remainder of the book. I donated my book to my local library for their resale shop.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    On one level was very disappointing, but heartening on another

    Jennifer Mascia never really understood how to connect the pieces of her puzzling family life until much later. She never quite understood the unusual family dynamic until she started asking questions. Her memory wouldn't allow her to recollect when the FBI came to cuff her father, but every memory after that was crisp and clear. "Jesse, are they arresting my daddy?" He told the five-year-old they were making a movie, but do movies really take away daddies?

    She loved her Daddy Cassese Mascia, but did not understand that Frank Cassese was her father Johnny's alias. Things blended together in her young mind. Jenbo, as she became known to the family, would have a lot of questions to ask, but in the meantime, she would live a lie and hear more of them. One certainty, delivered from her mother Eleanor's lips was that, "You must never tell our business to strangers.they are not your family. They are not your blood." (p. 35) Her father had spilled a lot of blood and silence was the key to their survival.

    Jenbo saw a lot of unusual things, but as a saucy teenager she ignored them. There was the "bank account" hidden in the floor. Her father's carpet business was sold and they were moving again. Sometimes they were "slumming in style" and other times they collected food stamps. They busted out credit cards because her mother had a penchant for high fashion. Up until the business was sold everything seemed normal to her.

    Later she began to ask questions, questions that would lead to more questions. She was wondering why her father spent twelve years in prison and was worried it was for something horrible like rape. When she asked her mother for a few specifics, it turned out to be something much more sinister than she expected. Jenbo certainly didn't expect her mother to say, "Your father was an associate of one of the criminal families in New York."(p. 81) Why did he murder these men? Was it "four, maybe five?" Why would her mother stay with a man like that? Did she really know who her father was?

    This narrative, on one level was very disappointing, but heartening on another. The premise that this book would be an exposé on mob life and Jennifer Mascia's family's involvement was cursory at best. References to mob life surfaced when Jennifer later, as an adult, understood the reason why her father was taken away and once again when she began her search to find out about her parent's deep dark secrets. The writing was unfortunately pedestrian with an overwhelming amount of personal detail and resurrected dialogue.

    What I did like was Mascia's discovery of how special her family life was. The obstacles her parents had to overcome to hide their past from their daughter in order to make her life secure and to make her feel loved were admirable. This was a memoir of a dysfunctional couple who were determined to bypass their own fallibility to give their child a better life.

    Quill says: If you are going into this book thinking "Sorpranos," you will be gravely disappointed, but if you approach it expecting to find a family who escaped the clutches of the mob and found love, you will enjoy the read.

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  • Posted February 28, 2010

    Intrigued

    Dear Writer,
    I read only a few chapters of your book, and I love it! My best friend, who lives on Staten Island, was browsing Barnes and Nobles website, when she came across your memoir. She sent a message to my facebook mail with your link. She and I are going to read it and discuss it, together. I just ordered my copy and she is ordering too. I like your tone and style of writing. Futhermore, I believe you have an interestiing, exciting, and powerful story with some caveats. I can't wait to read the whole book.

    THANKS for sharing your story and Good luck,
    N.A.Z. Pankey

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    Posted March 27, 2010

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