A BROOKLYN SAGA: STORIES FROM THE STOOP
A Brooklyn Saga... immerses readers into the lively 1970s era of Williamsburg Brooklyn when the Mafia operated in cafes and taverns, running numbers for local and national racetracks. Priests openly kept mistresses and welcomed saints and sinners to their Sunday Mass services. Multiple cultures intermingled inside local retail stores but by tacit consent lived in separate neighborhoods, the Italian section of Williamsburg among the largest.
The Italians arguably prepped and served the best home-cooked meals, cooking Sunday feasts prepared only with fresh ingredients bought from local food stores and butchers. Desserts offered by eagerly anticipated street vendors often topped off the repasts.
Then as now, living in Brooklyn brought neighbors and relatives together outside on their stoops for conversation, street games, family rites, rituals, and ceremonies. They regularly witnessed loud arguments or mayhem taken in with running commentaries, shrugs, grins, laughter, or tears. Whatever happened in the neighborhood was never told to outsiders; the idea was, "We saw nothing!"
For Angie Carpello and her friends, her stoop was the focal point from where she and they acknowledged their heritage as they grew up and changed.
In Angie's case, the eyes and thoughts of one Chinese refugee, Wengchan Liang (aka Peter Wei) working for the Mafia found her reactions to certain events so similar to his that he suspected Fate would one day cross their paths. When that day came, life-or-death events meant survival for one of them and an unexpected redemption for the other! (Historical fiction, 282 pages. Softcover and eBook)
“To read ‘A Brooklyn Saga...” is to travel back in time to the real Brooklyn. New Yorkers, you don’t know Williamsburg until you’ve read Angiolillo’s and Kule’s work! The characters are colorful and nuanced, and details about the neighborhood and the locals who reside in it are so visceral that you can practically taste Caterina’s gravy and feel the front steps of her family’s stoop under your feet. Angie adds innocence and complexity to the story and provides a compelling and somewhat classic coming-of-age tale set against the gritty city. A joy to read!” —Alison Caporimo, former deputy editor of Seventeen magazine