Cristofano's intense, romantic debut revolves around the Federal Witness Protection Program. When Melody Grace McCartney is six, she and her family witness mobster Tony Bovaro gut Jimmy "the Rat" Fratello at a restaurant in New York's Little Italy. They go into WITSEC in exchange for testifying against Bovaro. Eight years later, due to a foolish slip on Melody's part, a Bovaro goon finds her parents and kills them, but WITSEC whisks Melody to safety. By the time she's an adult, Melody has gone through a numbing parade of eight identities, the latest as a math teacher. She's about to enter yet another new life when she meets John Bovaro (aka Jonathan), who at age 10 also saw his father slicing up Jimmy. Jonathan, who's been tracking Melody's movements ever since and is obsessed with making things right, persuades her to run off with him. Despite Melody's questionable attraction to Jonathan, Cristofano's mad love scenario sizzles like garlic in hot olive oil. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Girl She Used to Beby David Cristofano
When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been… See more details below
When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others--everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it's a dangerous thrill that Melody can't resist. He's insistent that she's just a pawn in the government's war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?
Lolly Winston, New York Times bestselling author of GOOD GRIEF and HAPPINESS SOLD SEPARATELY"
New York Times Book Review"
Intense...the emotions of a woman caught in Melody's unlikely scenario ring deliciously, scarily true."
David Cristofano's debut novel is alternately thought-provoking, poignant, and darkly funny. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE hooked me from the very first page."
Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of WHISTLING IN THE DARK and LAND OF A HUNDRED WONDERS"
Intense, romantic debut...Cristofano's mad love scenario sizzles like garlic in hot olive oil."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
This is a compulsively readable, skillfully constructed first novel with well-drawn characters and a plot that twists and turns to what seems the best possible conclusion, marking Cristofano as a writer to watch!"
THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is everything I want a book to be. A humorous, poignant, and compelling page-turner that kept me guessing all the way to the end. I marveled at how utterly I was drawn into Melody's world and what a vivid picture David Cristofano created."
Patricia Wood, New York Times bestselling author of LOTTERY"
I absolutely fell in love with David Cristofano's writing, and couldn't wait to see Melody's mystery unfold. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is that rare novel...it's the one you've been looking for when you wander the bookstore aisles, hoping to find something that will grab hold of you and not let go. Eloquent, haunting, and totally enthrallingI was swept in from page one."
Johanna Edwards, nationally bestselling author of HOW TO BE COOL"
David Cristofano artfully explores the meaning of identity and home, heroes and villains, in this story of a woman who loses herself, then finds herself again in the most unlikely place. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is a roller-coaster ride, both thriller and riveting psychological drama, and Cristofano is definitely a writer to watch for."
Elizabeth Arnold, bestselling author of PROMISE THE MOON"
David Cristofano's debut novel captures the essence of the human spirit, and delivers a story that is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking."
Brad Listi, author of ATTENTION. DEFICIT. DISORDER"
There's no hiding the fact that THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is a brilliant debut by a magnificent new novelist."
Will Clarke, LORD VISHNU'S LOVE HANDLES and THE WORTHY
- Grand Central Publishing
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Meet the Author
David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government & Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade. His short works have been published by Like Water Burning and McSweeneys. He currently works in the Washington, D.C. area where he lives with his wife, son and daughter. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is his first novel.
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