Book Review: The Family by Naomi Krupitsky

About the Book:

A captivating debut novel about the tangled fates of two best friends and daughters of the Italian mafia, and a coming-of-age story of twentieth-century Brooklyn itself.

Two daughters. Two families. One inescapable fate.

Sofia Colicchio is a free spirit, loud and untamed. Antonia Russo is thoughtful, ever observing the world around her. Best friends since birth, they live in the shadow of their fathers’ unspoken community: the Family. Sunday dinners gather them each week to feast, discuss business, and renew the intoxicating bond borne of blood and love.

But the disappearance of Antonia’s father drives a whisper-thin wedge between the girls as they grow into women, wives, mothers, and leaders. And as they push against the boundaries of society’s expectations and fight to preserve their complex but life-sustaining friendship, one fateful night their loyalty to each other and the Family will be tested.

Only one of them can pull the trigger before it’s too late.

For fans of Elena Ferrante and Maggie O’Farrell, The Family introduces a stunning new voice in literary fiction.

Published by HarperCollins Publishers Australia – HarperCollins GB

Released 27th October 2021

My Thoughts:

Shades of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend blend with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather in this gorgeous historical literary debut, set in Brooklyn across the decades of the 1920s through to the end of the 1940s.

Violence and love coalesce on the page to create an unforgettable story about family, friendship, loyalty, and loss. Playing out against a background of a rapidly changing New York, this novel is so beautifully written, moments of pure poetry are frequent and the historical atmosphere was just sublime.

I have seen some criticism whereby the novel is accused of being all tell and no show. I dispute this. The novel has an omniscient narration combined with a literary style, two writing techniques that don’t necessarily suit all readers. In this case, I felt that it was perfect for the story the author was telling, allowing for an all-encompassing and deeply immersive experience.

I adored this novel and lingered over it for the better part of a week. I can’t say that it’s a novel that will suit everyone, but I do highly recommend it to those who appreciate literary historical fiction that focuses on character exploration and the lives of people set within a certain era, as opposed to a fast-paced plot driven thriller. The themes explored were thought provoking and written within the framework of intelligent and probing discourse unique to the era and circumstances of the characters.

A stunning debut from an author of great talent. Bravo.


Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Family by Naomi Krupitsky

  1. Lovely review! Interesting point about omniscient narration – I sometimes think the adage ‘show don’t tell’ gets too much cred; I quite like an expository style if the voice is compelling. A lot of my favourite writers use it, I think it can be a marvellous way to tell a story. It all comes down to execution, I think – dreary if the voice is dreary, or rocket along if the storyteller is engaging. I’ll keep an eye out for this one! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree! And I often find the phrase ‘show don’t tell’ coined far too frequently by readers who (I daresay) may not quite know what they are actually referring to.
      Omniscient narration gets a very bad rap, I feel. Some of the best books I’ve read have been narrated as such. You’re right though, just can’t have a dreary narrator.

      Liked by 1 person

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