A BROOKLYN SAGA: STORIES FROM THE STOOP
A Brooklyn Saga... harkens back to a lively era for Brooklyn when the Mafia openly 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; and multiple cultures intermingled in retail stores but lived by tacit consent in separate neighborhoods, the Italian section of Williamsburg among the largest.
The Italians prepped and served arguably the best home-cooked meals, cooking Sunday feasts prepared only with fresh ingredients from the 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 for conversation, street games, family rites, rituals, and ceremonies. Sitting on their stoops, they regularly witnessed loud arguments or mayhem - all taken in with running commentaries, shrugs, grins, laughter, or tears. Whatever happened, little, if anything, ever was told to outsiders.
For Angie Carpelo and her many friends, her stoop was the focal point from where she and they acknowledged their heritage even as they grew up and changed, In her case, the eyes and thoughts of one Chinese refugee, Wengchan Liang (aka Peter Wei) who worked for the Mafia, found her reactions to certain events so similar to his that he suspected Fate would cross their paths. When that day came, certain life-or-death events would mean survival for one of them and 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