There are many writers who are lucky enough to have one novel that is a success. There are even fewer writers who have the chance to continue to tell their story.
Suzanne Corso’s 2013 novel, The Suite Life, is the follow up to her debut novel, Brooklyn Story.
The Suite Life starts in 1996. Samantha Conti is working at a day job that pays the bills, but her dream is to be a novelist. Her manuscript, The Blessed Bridge, based on her relationship with Tony is waiting to be published. But her dreams are hold, thanks to Tony’s long distance connections.
Then Samantha meets Alex DeMarco. Alex works on Wall Street and sweeps Samantha off of her feet in a whirlwind courtship. Their marriage and the birth of their daughter soon follows. But Alex has a few demons of his own to conquer. When Alex’s professional ambitions and financial gains know no bounds, Samantha begins to question her choices and her marriage. Can she make her dreams of being a published author a reality or will she be forced to spend the rest of her life watching her husband destroy himself and the life they have built?
I adore this book. I adored her first book. Samantha’s reaction to Alex is the reaction that any woman would have, especially after dating a guy like Tony Kroon. A rich, handsome, confidant guy who sweeps you off of your feet and seems to take away all of your problems? Sounds like a dream. A modern prince charming who instead of riding a white steed and living in a castle, drives a Maserati and lives in a Manhattan loft that costs more in rent for one month than some people make in six months is a dream come true for some women. But Alex nowhere near prince charming and will nearly end up destroying his marriage and the life that he and Samantha have built together.
I highly recommend this book.
One of the quotes about writing that is floating around the internet is as follows:
Anyone who survives childhood has enough material to write for the rest of her life- Flannery O’Connor
In Bensonhurst, Brooklyn circa 1978, 15 year old Samantha Conti wants to be a writer. According to Ms. O’Connor, Samantha will have plenty of ideas to choose from.
Suzanne Corso’s 2011 novel, Brooklyn Story, is a coming of age tale told from Samantha’s point of view several years after the events in the book have taken place.
Her home life is dysfunctional with a capital D. Samantha’s father, a man of Sicilian origins, divorced his wife and abandoned his family years ago. Samantha has not seen her father since she was a little girl. Her mother, born into a Jewish family, converted to Catholicism at the start of her brief marriage. Samantha’s mother lives off welfare and has health issues stemming from substance abuse. Thankfully, Samantha does have positive adult role models in her life. Her grandmother lives with them and is helping to raise her granddaughter, she has also the family priest and her favorite teacher providing the emotional support that is not coming from her mother.
Samantha’s best friend, Janice who is three years older than her, introduces her to Tony. Tony is slightly older than Samantha. He is charming, attractive and attentive. He also has a temper and is a bit on the possessive side. Still, Samantha starts to see Tony. But the relationship will become questionable and Samantha will soon have to choose between her dreams of becoming a writer in Manhattan or staying in Brooklyn with Tony.
I initially picked up this book because I am very familiar with the part of Brooklyn that Ms. Corso uses as a backdrop. What I read was a young woman’s coming of age story that felt very real. The reader does not have to know Brooklyn or have lived during the late 1970’s to appreciate and understand Samantha’s journey. While the thirty something woman that I am wanted to warn Samantha that Tony was bad news, the former teenager in me understood Samantha’s interest in him.
This book is nothing short of amazing and I highly recommend it.