In City of Margins, the lives of several lost souls intersect in Southern Brooklyn in the early 1990s. Theres Donnie Parascandolo, a disgraced ex-cop with blood on his hands; Ava Bifulco, a widow whose daily work grind is her whole life; Nick, Avas son, a grubby high school teacher who dreams of a shortcut to success; Mikey Baldini, a college dropout whos returned to the old neighborhood, purposeless and drifting; Donna Rotante, Donnies ex-wife, still reeling from the suicide of their teenage son; Mikeys mother, Rosemarie, also a widow, who hopes Mikey wont fall into the trap of strong arm work; and Antonina Divino, a high school girl with designs on breaking free from Brooklyn. Uniting them are the dead: Mikeys old man, killed over a gambling debt, and Donnie and Donnas poor son, Gabe.
These characters cross paths in unexpected ways, guided by coincidence and the pull of blood. There are new things to be found in the rubble of their lives, too. The promise of something different beyond the barriers that have been set out for them. This is a story of revenge and retribution, of facing down the ghosts of the past, of untold desires, of yearning and forgiveness and synchronicity, of the great distance of lives lived in dangerous proximity to each other.
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City of Margins is an amazing character-based crime novel in which I devoured over a few days.
Set in Southern Brooklyn during the early 1990’s with different characters sharing their connection to this neighbourhood. Donnie Parascandolo, a disgraced ex-cop, his ex-wife Donna, Ava Bifulco a widow and her son Nick a high school teacher, Mickey Baldini a college drop out and his mother Rosemarie also a widow and Antonio Divino a high school girl looking to escape Brooklyn.
These characters have been written extremely well and although some male questionable choices and at times using violence, I felt for every one. They are all connected by Mikey’s dad who was killed over a gambling debt and Donnie and Donna’s son who tragically killed himself at 15. They are linked by their past, crime, revenge and gangster Big Time Tommy.
I loved the descriptions of their neighbourhood and was gripped by the characters choices towards the end of the book.
A fascinating and wonderfully descriptive book.
I loved it.
William Boyle is from Brooklyn, New York. His books include: Gravesend, which was nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in France and shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger in the UK; The Lonely Witness, which was nominated for the Hammett Prize and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière; A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself; and, most recently, City of Margins. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi. Twitter @wmboyle4
Jera's Jamboree has been around for 9+ years. I'm qualified as a Sleep Consultant, Dyslexia Therapist, Reiki Master, Mental Health First Aider and Mindfulness Practitioner. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind.