I hope that you’re all well and that you’ve had a good week. I’ve not had a review to post in a while as this latest book took me longer than expected to get through. However I’m here now! I have plenty of books lined up after this one so hopefully I get back into a routine of a couple of reviews a week and a steady stream of posts.
Thank you to @naomi_krupitsky and @BoroughPress for this advanced copy of The Family in return for an honest review. The Family was published on 2nd November 2021 and you can get a copy here.
Sophia Colicchio is strong minded, free spirited and fiercely independent. Her best friend Antonia Russo is quieter, more reserved and observant of the world and it’s inhabitants. The two have been best friends since birth. Their childhood homes separated by nothing more than a stone wall and their fathers bringing the households together via The Family; the unspoken community.
Antonia’s father has never thought that he belonged in The Family but when he started to make plans to leave, he soon after disappeared. His disappearance splinters the relationship between Sophia and Antonia however as they grow into adults and mothers their friendship holds. Sometimes they have conflicts and sometimes they don’t agree with each others decisions but they remain loyal to each other.
General Thoughts 🤔
This was a nice coming of age story with a bit of a twist; these girls were growing up within the mafia. Being a teenage girl is hard at the best of times, but I can’t imagine how hard it was to be a teenager in the epicentre of one of the families. Personally, I don’t think that this book used that quite enough. These girls were literally being brought up by the mafia and I would have thought that would have given scope for some pretty exciting and dramatic avenues in the story. However there wasn’t really a lot that happened. There was drama at the end, but up until that point, I found the story a little bland.
The two main characters were obviously Sophia and Antonia. They were near enough polar opposites of each other but remained friends their entire lives. I thought that their personalities balanced each other out quite nicely and even though their relationship went through it’s weaker stages, the two of them were there for each other when it really counted. I thought that their friendship was beautiful and that any two people would be lucky to have one like it.
The character that intrigued me most was Saul; Sophia’s husband. He was brought into The Family strictly for business, but ended up being a leader within The Family by accident. I felt quite sorry for Saul through a lot of the book. I never got the impression that he decided on where his life was going and all of his life choices were made for him. I imagine that he played a lot of “what ifs” through his mind.
Writing Style ✍️
I think that this author has strength in writing characters that have complex and interesting relationships. There were plenty to pick apart within this book.
Unfortunately, the story wasn’t strong enough for me to stay interested for long enough to become heavily invested in the characters which was such a shame. I think that their was potential for a more interesting plot that would have made me more inclined to get closer to the characters without turning this book into a huge drama.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
Unfortunately, this book and I were not a match made in heaven. For some reason I just couldn’t settle into it and reading it was very much a stop/start experience. I did like the characters and the relationships within the book but I thought it lacked a strong enough storyline to support them. I wouldn’t however give up on this author and I would read more of their work.