Many Staten Islanders lament the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964 as the end of a golden age for the bucolic, pastoral, and sparsely populated borough of New York City. Farmland and lush forests gave way to suburban tract housing and cookie-cutter two-family homes as families from the other boroughs swarmed in by the thousands. Kristin Pitanza weaves a deeply personal tapestry in the four stories included in Speed My Way Up. Drawing from the island’s rich but largely unknown history, the stories provide a rare glimpse into this transitional period. Staten Island is not merely a backdrop for the characters—it is a character itself, its story imbued in every word printed here. The Island’s rapid transit system provides the backdrop for a tale of two young thieves and a disillusioned young woman trying to make their way up in the world. The Frank Lloyd Wright House is the setting for a mysterious man involved with two young sisters. Mike and Mary, two newly wed cops, suffer the consequences of their profession, and an adolescent girl finds herself in a series of life lessons that lead her to a different path life.