Southern Italy in the 1930s was chaotic and violent - the rise of dictator Mussolini, the dawn of Europe's descent into another World War, and continuation of turf battles between Mafia families. This was certainly no place for a young woman to assume power, but 17-year-old Carina broke the mold. Forced to become the family matriarch after her father's sudden death, Carina finds herself responsible for the care of her 12 younger siblings. Cornered, she is forced to marry Russo, the Prince of Naples and head of the notorious Camorra organized crime family. To her horror, she soon discovers that Russo has lured her seven younger brothers into the nefarious web of the Camorra. With no recourse but to accept her family's situation, she submits to the circumstances and lends her invaluable skills to her husband, growing and expanding his criminal enterprises. As World War II breaks out, the family walks a dangerous line between politics and crime. A bomb detonated in Russo's house renders him both deaf and dumb. Should the Camorra learn Russo is no longer capable of command, Carina knows that her family will lose everything. To secure her family's position, she does the unthinkable: she dons her husband's clothes and masquerades as him, wading into the treacherous men-only world of the Camorra where any misstep could mean a sudden and violent end. Discovery is inevitable and, Interpol has been watching. Nevertheless, Carina uses her skill and savvy, combined with her unflinching devotion to her family, to seize control of the most powerful of Mafia groups and survive to tell her children her stunning story of strength and survival.
©2013 Ron Russell (P)2015 Bettie Youngs / Bettie Youngs Book Publishers
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