Readers who are looking for an all day and beyond read that covers the years from the early 20's through the end of World War II and beyond will grab this one and hold on. A new novel by an established author of fiction "Narrow's Gate" is a must read reminiscent of "The Godfather." In the time before and shortly after the war most of the story takes place in Narrow's Gate, a community of immigrants (Italian, Irish and Jewish) near the Hudson River Shipyards where many of them worked.
This area was extremely dangerous as the different factions were always after each other to see who could rule.
There is a neighborhood boy, Salvatore Benno, who doesn't care all that much for learning but, at the age of eight, was ready to gun down an Irish policeman who was harrassing his Aunt and Uncle in a restaurant they owned on the waterfront. As Sal grows up, he becomes very skillful in doing favors for the Mafia and this puts him in danger many times. His friend, Leo Bell, meets Sal when they are young and become lifelong buddies who support each other in all things. Leo and his father are hiding a very dangerous secret that, if it comes out, will be hurtful to both of the boys.
Also, in the neighborhood lives William "Bebe" Rosiglino, who has a mother who spoils him rotten one minute and knocks him around the next. His father works very hard to support his family but, hasn't much to say in the raising of the boy. In the future Bebe will become a famous singer and movie star but, never really grow up.
This is a book that will teach many readers about the immigrant experience that took place in the US in the 1920's and later. It includes the Mafia, the Irish that manned most of the police departments, and the movie stars that really looked and acted like movie stars. Many of the scenes in the book will remind readers of people that they have heard of and feel as if they know. This is a family saga of great proportion even though it covers many different families. So, pick this one up, you won't be sorry.
Jim Fusilli’s new novel takes place in the years surrounding World War II in the dangerous immigrant neighborhood of Narrows Gate, overlooking the Hudson River, where anything can happen—and it usually does. Sal Benno is a neighborhood kid who doesn’t take to school but is able to provide the favors the Mafia needs, a skill that brings him into their inner circle and closer to ultimate danger. His lifelong friend Leo Bell sticks by Sal through thick and thin, but harbors a dangerous secret that could either keep Sal alive—or bring his life to an abrupt end. In the middle of it is Billy “Bebe” Marsala, a hugely popular and handsome crooner who becomes a pawn in a mob war that could destroy them all. A novel that rekindles the spirit of such groundbreaking works as Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and Budd Schulberg’s On the Waterfront, Narrows Gate is a powerful, epic saga that captures the heart of the immigrant experience—and the soul of America.