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Brooklyn Story

Brooklyn Story

  • reading group guide
Perfectly evoking the sights and sounds of the summer of 1978 in Brooklyn, Suzanne Corso makes an acclaimed fiction debut with this powerful coming-of-age tale, told from an adult perspective, of family, best friends, first loves, and big dreams waiting to come true. . . .

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.
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  • Pocket Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439190241 | 
  • December 2010
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Hear Suzanne Corso's BROOKLYN STORY

From Suzanne Corso, a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl growing up in 1970s Brooklyn who falls in love with a handsome aspiring mobster.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Brooklyn Story includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Suzanne Corso. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

INTRODUCTION

Brooklyn Story is the engaging coming-of-age story about Samantha Bonti, a teenage girl growing up in 1970s Brooklyn. An aspiring writer with dreams to someday leave her Bensonhurst community and dysfunctional home life for a new life in Manhattan, Samantha struggles to stay true to herself when she begins a relationship with Anthony Kroon, a “Brooklyn Boy” trying to break into the Brooklyn mafia scene. The devilishly handsome Tony sweeps Samantha off her feet—and into his world of violence, lies, and crime. As her relationship with Tony grows increasingly volatile, Samantha struggles to stay true to her beliefs until her writing can finally pull her across the East River and away from her tumultuous past.

TOPICS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. Brooklyn Story opens with a Sunnata Vagga quote about coming to peace with abuse by letting go of anger, which says, “Fury will never end fury, it will just ricochet on and on. Only putting it down will end such an abysmal state.& see more

About the Author

Suzanne Corso
Photograph by Tracy Toler

Suzanne Corso

Suzanne Corso is the author of two feature film screenplays, has produced two documentaries, and written one children’s book. She was chosen as one of  USA TODAY's “New Voices of 2011” for her debut novel, A Brooklyn Story. She currently lives in New York City.

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