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Publisher's Summary

When Jennifer Mascia is five years old, the FBI comes for her father. At that moment Jenny realizes that her family isn’t exactly normal. What follows are months of confusion marked by visits with her father through thick glass, talking to him over a telephone attached to the wall. She and her mother crisscross the country, from California to New York to Miami and back again. When her father finally returns home, months later, his absence is never explained—and Jenny is told that the family has a new last name. It’s only much later that Jenny discovers that theirs was a life spent on the lam, trying to outrun the law.

Thus begins the story of Jennifer Mascia’s bizarre but strangely magical childhood. An only child, she revels in her parents’ intense love for her—and rides the highs and lows of their equally passionate arguments. And then there are the oddities that Jenny notices only as she gets older.

When she, at 22, uncovers her father’s criminal record, more questions are raised. By then he is dying of cancer, so she presses her mother for answers, eliciting the first in a series of reluctant admissions about her father’s criminal past. Four years later, Jenny is made privy to one final confession that sets her on a search for the truth her mother fought to conceal for so many years. As Jenny unravels her family’s dark secrets, she must confront the grisly legacy she has inherited and the hard truth that her parents are not—and have never been—who they claimed to be. In the face of unimaginable tragedy, Jenny will ultimately find an acceptance and understanding just as meaningful and powerful as her parents’ love.

In a memoir both raw and unwavering, Jennifer Mascia tells the amazing story of a life lived—unwittingly—with criminals. Full of great love and enormous loss, Never Tell Our Business to Strangers will captivate and enthrall, both with its unrelenting revelations and its honest, witty heart.

©2010 Jennifer Mascia (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“With her intrepid reporting and unique voice, Jennifer Mascia breathes life into characters living on the fringe, people that most others ignore or try to forget: the druggies, the dealers, the scammers, the murderers and desperate ex-cons. The fact that they were part of her own loving family makes her story all the more remarkable and impossible to put down.” (Helene Stapinski, author of Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family)
“With a keen journalist’s eye and a loving daughter’s heart, Jennifer Mascia has written an incredible true story of family secrets, lies, and, ultimately, forgiveness.” (Janice Erlbaum, author of Have You Found Her: A Memoir)

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Awful, awful book

If you would like reading the diary of a full of herself, whiny, complaining, self-centered 14 year old, this is right up your alley. The narration is perfect for the book because it sounds like it was read by the self-described star of a suburban New Jersey community theatre group. I couldn't bring myself to care about anyone in the story. Awful. Just awful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Vicki
  • Montpelier, VA, United States
  • 07-08-10

I wish I could rate it a zero

In summary, it's boring navel gazing. This is the kind of book that you read and think "I hope I don't bore my friends with stories about my family." This book could have easily been slashed by a third...but it would still have been boring.
Her father was a murderer, her parents dealt and used drugs, scammed the welfare system, abused the bankruptcy court and never met an obligation they couldn't ignore. They were scum. Period. She was not able to ever explain WHY these people couldn't live and behave like responsible adults and therefore it's impossible to have any empathy for either of them.
I hope the book was cathartic for the author. If they had been my parents, frankly, I would have NEVER told their story. Maybe she was able to eventually love them but neither parent had any redeeming qualities for the rest of us.
Throughout the book I would catch myself saying "Oh, grow up!"
If you want to read a good book about the inside operation of a crime family, read The Accountant's Story by Roberto Escobar. It's a much better read.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • Naestved, Denmark
  • 08-24-10

Not very interesting

If you expect a book about criminals and mafia this is not the book for you. This book is an uninteresting memoir from a spoiled girl. A history about a family with the waguest connection to the mafia as it most be possible. This is a story about moneyproblems, abuse of creditcards and a clueless daughter. Unfortunately, the more you hear, the more you realise that this book is about a demanding mother, a spoiled girl and a father who works himself to death. For this type of history i recommend Andrea Giovino's book Divorced from the mob!

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