Godmother

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When Father Angelo Falcone is ordained in St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1950, his mother Maria stands proudly by - a rosary in her hands, a Beretta in her purse. She is La Cumare, the Godmother of Sullivan Street in New York City's Little Italy. So begins Anthony Mancini's piercing new novel, blending classic themes of love, betrayal and redemption with the rise of an immigrant family from Prohibition to the 1950s. Godmother tells the story of how the strength and powerful obsessions that have already taken Maria ...
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Overview

When Father Angelo Falcone is ordained in St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1950, his mother Maria stands proudly by - a rosary in her hands, a Beretta in her purse. She is La Cumare, the Godmother of Sullivan Street in New York City's Little Italy. So begins Anthony Mancini's piercing new novel, blending classic themes of love, betrayal and redemption with the rise of an immigrant family from Prohibition to the 1950s. Godmother tells the story of how the strength and powerful obsessions that have already taken Maria from a small Neapolitan village to awesome power and wealth in America also set in motion a series of explosive events that engulf her beloved son. Maria learned very young that it was no sin to be powerful. She has loved only two men in her life - but married neither - and she rules an empire of crime and influence relying on the art of "diplomacy" backed by the threat of violence. Her son, Father Angelo, conceived in love but out of wedlock, is a thoroughly good man. Assigned to a working class parish in Little Italy, he wants only to attend to the needs of his parishioners. But he is also human, with mortal weaknesses that threaten to destroy not only himself but La Cumare as well. Now he is faced with a terrible choice: to betray the family of his blood, or betray the family of man...

Mancini blends the story of the rise of Italian immigrants from Prohibition to the 1950s with a classic story of love, betrayal, and redemption, in this tale of La Cumare, the Godmother of Sullivan Street in New York's Little Italy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mancini's ( Menage ) Italian immigrant potboiler traces Maria Croce Falcone's rise from Neapolitan peasant girl to La Cumare , Godmother of New York City's Little Italy. When Maria's father runs afoul of the Commora (the Neapolitan mafia), his 16-year-old orphaned daughter is taken in by the village priest. Pregnant with the priest's child, Maria finds herself alone once again and turns to Pepe Falcone, a carpenter who has long loved her. The two head to America to join Pepe's brother Claudio in the Pennsylvania steel mills; but when Claudio kills his foreman, the Falcones are forced to flee again, this time to the chaos of New York City's Lower East Side. Maria starts a bootleg business, buying off the local Commora boss Antonio Malatesta with money and favors--until Malatesta tries to destroy her business. Maria kills him and becomes La Cumare of Sullivan Street, fending off forays by Sicilian, Jewish and Irish counterparts with feminine cunning. The climax comes when an old friend betrays her beloved son Angelo, now a parish priest, and Maria must try everything to protect him. Despite a made-for-TV miniseries style, Mancini's depictions of Italian peasant and immigrant life ring true. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556113765
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

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