The next chapter of Samantha Bonti’s life unfolds in this sophomore effort from Corso (Brooklyn Story, 2010).
Samantha thinks her life will finally begin when her abusive mob boyfriend is locked up and she meets with a publisher to discuss the memoir she’s written about dating him. But the ex-boyfriend makes some calls from jail and ruins her authorial prospects. Now, Samantha is living a solitary life in Brooklyn, working as an assistant in Manhattan and still dreaming of publishing her book. When she meets Alec DeMarco on the street one morning, she believes he’s her ticket to a posher, more secure life. He gets her attention by grabbing her shoulder and spinning her around (before telling her how beautiful she is, of course). Alec wines and dines Samantha, taking her through a whirlwind, no-expenses-spared courtship before proposing to her two months later. While unsure of many aspects of life with Alec, she agrees to marry him. For the next 10 or so years, she acts the role of Wall Street wife and mother while power-obsessed Alec becomes distant, drug-reliant, and emotionally, eventually physically, abusive. Samantha constantly prays on her rosary beads for greater peace and stability in her home life and dreams of the freedom she could attain by publishing her book, but for most of this novel, praying and dreaming are the full extent of her efforts. A more passive character would be hard to find. Entering into an abusive relationship might make sense for a character whose past consists of a string of abusive relationships, and obscene riches have been known to hypnotize many, but Corso is unable to reveal a deeper inner life for her heroine. She (and Samantha) seem to take more delight in descriptions of wealth or the corruption of Wall Street.
An uninspiring rags-to-riches tale set in modern New York City.