Samantha Bonti is fifteen years old, half Jewish and half Italian, and hesitantly edging toward pure Brooklyn. She lives in Bensonhurst with her mother, Joan, a woman poisoned with cynicism and shackled by addictions; and with her Grandma Ruth, Samantha’s loudest and most opinionated source of encouragement. As flawed as they are, they are family. And this is home—a tight-knit community of ancestors and traditions, of controlling mobsters, compliant wives, and charismatic young guys willing to engage in anything illegal to get a shot at playing with the big boys. Yet Samantha has something that even her most simpatico girlfriend, Janice Caputo, doesn’t share—a desire to become a writer and to escape their insular, overcrowded little world and the destiny that is assumed for all of them.
Then comes Tony Kroon. He’s a gorgeous mobster wannabe, a Bensonhurst Adonis whose seductive charms Samantha finds irresistible—even when she knows she’s too smart to fall this deep . . . but Samantha soon finds herself swallowed up by dangerous circumstances that threaten to jeopardize more than her dreams. Grandma Ruth’s advice: Samantha had better write herself out of this story and into a new one, fast.