MAFIA MARRIAGE: My Story by Rosalie with Beverly Donofrio Bonanno


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The Mob is back in fashion, highlighted by the November opening of Francis Coppola's The Godfather, Part III. Here, coinciding with that debut, is a sob-and-throb Mafia true-life romance by the wife of the scion of New York City's Bonanno crime family. Rosalie Bonanno was born Rosalie Profaci, daughter of major Mafia figure Salvatore Profaci. As such, she was raised in traditional Sicilian fashion, including convent education and a belief that ""women did not have. . .minds of their own."" When Bill Bonanno, son of mob chief Joe Bonanno, swept her off her feet, she envisaged a life of children, sexual fidelity, bliss (""I thought I might be the luckiest girl on earth""). No go. Bill turned out to be a philanderer, a wife-slapper, and--to Rosalie's astonishment, or so she claims--a gangster! Twenty years of rocky roads ensued, with Bill in and out of jail and Rosalie leaving him periodically to find some measure of peace on her own. Today, she insists her marriage is secure: ""I am tied to my husband. By tradition, yes. By our vows, certainly. But mostly by a love that won't go away."" Some spicy details of Mafia life (guns, pasta) but nothing that hasn't been described before. The gothic elements--virginal woman, dashing man, evil undercurrents--hold this together in a flimsy sort of way. Coauthor Donofrio, who wrote the sharp-eyed Riding in Cars with Boys (p. 848), presumably helped with the prose flow, but hasn't done much to lift this beyond True Romance level. True, but trite.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1990
Publisher: Morrow