Gravano’s dishy tell-all about growing up in the shadow of her father, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.
The author, a star of the VH1 reality-TV show Mob Wives, delivers a memoir that's the literary equivalent of reality TV. Now 39, Gravano grew up in Brooklyn, where her father worked in construction, ran nightclubs and served as the Gambino family underboss. Much of what Gravano recalls qualifies hers as a healthy, happy girlhood. Married, her parents insisted on regular family dinners during which everyone would share something they'd learned that day. The other part, though, concerning how she came to understand her father's role in the mafia and what it meant for her family, stands in stark contrast to anyone's idea of a normal childhood. She knew from a young age that her father was a criminal, but her fierce loyalty to him has never wavered and her perspective is decidedly one-sided: "Seeing my father upset made me feel like the cops were the bad guys." At another point, after witnessing his fight with a landscape designer, Gravano writes, "My father was very fair when it came to the bottom line, and he expected the people he dealt with to be honest and reasonable as well." The author’s worship of her father makes her views on the man read as somewhat delusional, especially considering his lengthy criminal history.
Readable but neither scintillating nor illuminating.