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Monday, September 10, 2012

"The Exceptions" by David Cristofano~Hypnotic!

SUMMARY From David Cristofano, the Edgar® Award-nominated author of The Girl She Used to Be, comes a poignant, darkly witty story about the ties that bind us together . . . and the choices that rip us apart.
No loose ends. It's the Bovaro family motto. As part of the Bovaro clan, one of the most powerful and respected families in organized crime, Jonathan knows what he must do: take out Melody Grace McCartney, the woman whose testimony can lock up his father and disgrace his entire family. The only problem: he can't bring himself to do it.
Had Jonathan kept his silence, Melody and her parents would never have been identified and lured into the Witness Protection Program, able to run but never to hide. So he keeps her safe the only way he knows how-by vowing to clean up his own mess while acting as her shield.
But as he watches her take on another new identity in yet another new town, becoming a beautiful but broken woman, Jonathan can't get her out of his mind . . . or his heart. From the streets of Little Italy to a refuge that promises a fresh start, Jonathan will be forced to choose between the life he's always known, the destiny his family has carved out for him, and a future unlike anything he's ever imagined.

Published by:  Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group
Pages:  465
Genre:  General Fiction
Author:  David Cristofanto
Find out more about the author here:  David Cristofano
Purchase the book:  Barnes and Noble
Available as Hardback & ebook

David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government & Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade. He currently works in the Washington, D.C. area where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.
Absolutely hypnotic book!  This is one that had me fixed in my recliner for the weekend and then when I wasn't, carrying the book around with me to the kitchen and pacing as I craved Italian food and the company of people on the North End of Boston. A rich and sumptuous read.  David Cristofano knows his mafia and his art.   He also seems to know a lot about the inner workings of the federal government.  He's a master writer of the highest caliber.
All the characters live and breathe in Mr. Cristofano's hands.  For instance, protagonist Jonathan Bovaro is no caricature of a mafia don's son, he's the living example of one caught between the "lifestyle" and wanting to be straight.  This is a character who exemplifies what it means to love and to be obsessed with wanting to do the right thing. I was spellbound by his sensitive ways, his counterbalance of the dark and light - rage and romance; love and hate; violence and tenderness.  David Cristofano takes us through the gamut of emotions in Jonathan Bovaro.  His life-long fixation on Melody, the young girl he inadvertently wronged as a child and caused to be held in the Witness Protection Program, is believable and staggering in its heart crushing realism.  Melody is also a complex character, a woman whose feelings and situation we can respond to.
I was set down in a places so readily available by "The Exceptions."  The homes, restaurants and streets of NY, NJ and surrounding states were made familiar as the story progressed.  The Bovaro territory became real.  Cristofano gave the Bovaro home a realism such that I could smell the foods, see the tables set for dinner, hear and see the conversations of the mafia men as they gathered apart from their families at mealtimes, and I could place myself with Johnny as he walked the dimly lit rooms of his own restaurant, hearing dishes clatter and music from Sinatra playing.  There is a play in this book on every sense we have: sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch.  And on every emotion we can experience.
David Cristofano is a genius writer able to transport his reader into the heart and soul of  his characters.  He made me feel as if I were sitting with Jonathan Bovaro over a glass of wine listening to him pour his heart out about his life, his family and the love of his life. 
This is a book I will rank as one I'll never forget.  Rich as "The Godfather" in the traditions of the mafia, only written with a better hand and mind.  Touching as "I Know This Much Is True," by Wally Lamb.  Easily as good as anything Jonathan Franzen has ever written.  You can't miss this novel.  No loose ends here!
5 stars of perfection                Deborah/TheBookishDame



I loved The Girl She Used to Be and can't wait to read this book.


I've just ordered "The Girl..." Can't wait for it to get to me tomorrow! It's Melody's view of things, I understand. Cristofano is a stellar author! Thanks for your comment, Kathy.


Hi Deb, I hope things are sorting themselves out for you.
I'd like to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award, simply because you have such a lovely, fab blog. Please check it out at



Thank you, dear Alex! I'm an award free zone, but I so appreciate your thoughtfulness. You made my day..week...month!!! Thank you! Deb

C.S. Challinor

Deborah, your thoughtful review convinced me to seek out David Cristofano's "The Exceptions." This is a valuable site; glad I found it!!

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