The El (Paperback)
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A historic novel set in 1936 Brooklyn. It was an era when the Navy Yard sang, when Coney Island was bright lights and pure enchantment, and Wednesdays held the promise of Dish Night at the Loews 46th Street Theater. The elevated train, or El, was the lifeline that coursed through it all. In the El's shadow, an earthy, ebullient Italian-American family resides: Poppa, the beneficent patriarch; Bridget, his devoted wife and mother of their six grown children; Rosanna, their eldest, who is married to Tony, a dangerous drunk; Kewpie, their nubile teenage daughter; and Tiger, their scrappy ten-year old son. A stark drama quickly unfolds as a terrible secret is revealed. The El weaves a timeless family saga through a colorful array of unmistakably Brooklyn characters as the Paradisos weather seasons of joy, loss and desire, and experience simple delights in the midst of the Depression. Here, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is a place of unconditional and unrequited love, where the unimaginable is indeed possible, and the whims of a violent alcoholic threaten to destroy the idyllic applecart of the entire clan's existence. The El is at once homey and horrific, lusty and innocent, fanciful and shocking. It is a complicated mosaic of light and dark, fired with savory flavors and vivid images.