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Big Little Lies set in World War II era Greenwich Village! An irresistible, suspenseful novel about four women who marry into an elegant, prosperous Italian family, and then must take charge of the family’s business when their husbands are forced to leave them during the war. Meet the Godmothers: Filomena is a clever and resourceful war refugee with a childhood secret, who Big Little Lies set in World War II era Greenwich Village! An irresistible, suspenseful novel about four women who marry into an elegant, prosperous Italian family, and then must take charge of the family’s business when their husbands are forced to leave them during the war. Meet the Godmothers: Filomena is a clever and resourceful war refugee with a childhood secret, who comes to America to wed Mario, the family's favored son. Amie, a beautiful and dreamy French girl from upstate New York, escapes an abusive husband after falling in love with Johnny, the oldest of the brothers. Lucy, a tough-as-nails Irish nurse, ran away from a strict girls' home and marries Frankie, the sensuous middle son. And the glamorous Petrina, the family’s only daughter, graduates with honors from Barnard College despite a past trauma that nearly caused a family scandal. All four women become godmothers to one another’s children, finding hope and shelter in this prosperous family and their sumptuous Greenwich Village home, and enjoying New York life with its fine dining, opulent department stores and sophisticated nightclubs. But the women’s secret pasts lead to unforeseen consequences and betrayals that threaten to unravel all their carefully laid plans. And when their husbands are forced to leave them during the second World War, the Godmothers must unexpectedly contend with notorious gangsters like Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano who run the streets of New York City. Refusing to merely imitate the world of men, the four Godmothers learn to put aside their differences and grudges so that they can work together to protect their loved ones, and to find their own unique paths to success, love, forgiveness, and the futures they’ve always dreamed of.


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Big Little Lies set in World War II era Greenwich Village! An irresistible, suspenseful novel about four women who marry into an elegant, prosperous Italian family, and then must take charge of the family’s business when their husbands are forced to leave them during the war. Meet the Godmothers: Filomena is a clever and resourceful war refugee with a childhood secret, who Big Little Lies set in World War II era Greenwich Village! An irresistible, suspenseful novel about four women who marry into an elegant, prosperous Italian family, and then must take charge of the family’s business when their husbands are forced to leave them during the war. Meet the Godmothers: Filomena is a clever and resourceful war refugee with a childhood secret, who comes to America to wed Mario, the family's favored son. Amie, a beautiful and dreamy French girl from upstate New York, escapes an abusive husband after falling in love with Johnny, the oldest of the brothers. Lucy, a tough-as-nails Irish nurse, ran away from a strict girls' home and marries Frankie, the sensuous middle son. And the glamorous Petrina, the family’s only daughter, graduates with honors from Barnard College despite a past trauma that nearly caused a family scandal. All four women become godmothers to one another’s children, finding hope and shelter in this prosperous family and their sumptuous Greenwich Village home, and enjoying New York life with its fine dining, opulent department stores and sophisticated nightclubs. But the women’s secret pasts lead to unforeseen consequences and betrayals that threaten to unravel all their carefully laid plans. And when their husbands are forced to leave them during the second World War, the Godmothers must unexpectedly contend with notorious gangsters like Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano who run the streets of New York City. Refusing to merely imitate the world of men, the four Godmothers learn to put aside their differences and grudges so that they can work together to protect their loved ones, and to find their own unique paths to success, love, forgiveness, and the futures they’ve always dreamed of.

30 review for The Godmothers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joan Happel

    When daughter Nicole’s husband needs a background check for a job with the Carter administration, she goes to her godmother to find out if the family is hiding anything. The story that unfolds is one of drama, passion, and long buried family secrets. Four women who are born into or marry into a well-connected New York Italian family- Petrina, Lucy, Amie, and Filomena- must take over the family business during WWII when death, sickness and the war take their husbands and brothers away. The women When daughter Nicole’s husband needs a background check for a job with the Carter administration, she goes to her godmother to find out if the family is hiding anything. The story that unfolds is one of drama, passion, and long buried family secrets. Four women who are born into or marry into a well-connected New York Italian family- Petrina, Lucy, Amie, and Filomena- must take over the family business during WWII when death, sickness and the war take their husbands and brothers away. The women rise to the challenge, taking on the local mafia bosses and protecting their family interests. A flip on the often male-dominated mafia novels, this is a face-paced, dramatic multi-generational novel portraying strong female characters in a traditionally male dominated world. An enthralling, wonderful work of historical fiction. Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for the e-ARC

  2. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    In 1980, Nicole’s husband is interviewing for a job which requires a background check. She asks her godmother whether there’s anything in their family history which could raise a red flag. Filomena realizes that the time has come to tell her godchild the history of the family. And what a history it is! This sweeping family saga centers around the 1930s to 1950s and tells the story of a family of sisters by marriage who find themselves in the middle New York’s notorious organized crime scene. Gia In 1980, Nicole’s husband is interviewing for a job which requires a background check. She asks her godmother whether there’s anything in their family history which could raise a red flag. Filomena realizes that the time has come to tell her godchild the history of the family. And what a history it is! This sweeping family saga centers around the 1930s to 1950s and tells the story of a family of sisters by marriage who find themselves in the middle New York’s notorious organized crime scene. Gianni and Tessa are parents of four children - daughter Petrina and three sons. Lucy, Amie and Filomena have deep secrets before each meet and marry the sons. Through many difficulties including the U.S. entering World War II, the four women become knee deep in the “family business.” Set primarily in New York's Greenwich Village, there is tension among the four women, who come from vastly different backgrounds. They realize that their only chance to survive is by banding together and trusting one another. They are trying to manage long-running obligations in an environment where women are not taken seriously. The world of the mafia, which includes actual mob figures, is well presented in The Godmothers. But the heart of the story is the family dynamics among the women and their growing children who yearn to forge their own identities. Camille Aubray has written a fast-moving, suspenseful book that covers a lot of ground and keeps you rooting for this unique band of sisters-in-law. Many thanks to William Morrow / HarperCollins and Goodreads for the opportunity to read The Godmothers in advance of its June 15, 2021 publication. Rated 4.25 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Val

    A sweeping saga featuring 4 strong women related by marriage into a proud Italian family with ties to the mob. Different from other "mob stories" in that it is told through the women's eyes, and the mob is not glamorized or celebrated. I knew this book would be super interesting as soon as I read the synopsis. I love reading about this time period in New York (1930's - 50's). I find myself intrigued when reading about the ways that families involved in the mob justify the way they make money and A sweeping saga featuring 4 strong women related by marriage into a proud Italian family with ties to the mob. Different from other "mob stories" in that it is told through the women's eyes, and the mob is not glamorized or celebrated. I knew this book would be super interesting as soon as I read the synopsis. I love reading about this time period in New York (1930's - 50's). I find myself intrigued when reading about the ways that families involved in the mob justify the way they make money and treat individuals with the ways they treat their own family. I loved how this book was so different from other portrayals of the magic of wealth and power from being inside the mob. This is a story of the devastation that life can have on families and the struggle to keep the younger generation from becoming enamored with that lifestyle. The 4 women that play center stage in this book, Petrina, Lucy, Amie and Filomena band together when they find themselves in a situation that they had no part in creating. Petrina is the daughter of Gianni and Tessa, a couple that dallied on the outskirts of the mob, lending money. Lucy, Amie and Filomena married into the family. Each hides her own secret. The husbands are all forced at one point to remove themself from the family for a time. One hiding from the police and searching for someone, one off to fight in the war, one removed through an affair and divorce and one to a devastating illness. When tragedy strikes, the women become, "the Godmothers" and make a pact to support each other and keep no secrets from one another. They are tasked with saving the family name and saving each member of the family from harm. Each of the women are so different, and melded together perfectly to form a smart, stylish, family-focused and fierce group who took over in a business where women were not necessarily welcome or respected as business partners. The first part of the book did a great job of taking the reader through each woman's upbringing and offered such insight into their motivations in later life choices. As each of the woman started their own family, the importance of their relationship with each other grew increasingly important. The introduction of recognizable mobster names was a fun touch. I loved watching their evolving relationships and the steps they planned in order to achieve a seemingly unattainable goal. The story highlighted themes of responsibility, honor, respect, love and forgiveness. I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend. Although the book felt a tad slow at some parts, the overall character development, storyline and ending made the read very worthwhile. Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow / Custom House for allowing me to read and review an advance copy. Pub date: June 15, 2021.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The Godmothers was a roller coaster of a tale with lots of ups and downs and twists and turns. This book was action packed and very readable. It was not without its flaws but I did enjoy following this family for about 90 years. This book started out very strong with a focus on the four godmothers (Petrina, Lucy, Amie, and Filomena). I loved this look at their backstory and how they came to this family. The reader gets to know each woman and her strengths and weaknesses in this first section. Fo The Godmothers was a roller coaster of a tale with lots of ups and downs and twists and turns. This book was action packed and very readable. It was not without its flaws but I did enjoy following this family for about 90 years. This book started out very strong with a focus on the four godmothers (Petrina, Lucy, Amie, and Filomena). I loved this look at their backstory and how they came to this family. The reader gets to know each woman and her strengths and weaknesses in this first section. For me, this was the best part of the book. It made me love each of these characters and want to see how their lives would unfold. Once we moved into the next time frame, the author shifted from the individual women's perspectives to the family as a collective. I felt like we lost the uniqueness of each woman. I still enjoyed reading how the family was growing and dealing with the various challenges that came their way. At about the 60% mark in the book, I felt like we went off the rails a bit. The author seemed to be throwing a lot of tropes at us; so many tropes that I felt we could be on a set of a soap opera. A lot of them just seemed unnecessary/overkill. It's at this point that I felt like the story could have been wrapped up. But then we have a third section in the 1950s. I thought this part was rushed and underdeveloped. Despite my issues, I did like this detailed look at this family. I loved seeing the women coming together and doing what needs to be done to ensure the future of their family.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I… don’t know how to properly express how much I did not like this book? But somehow I finished it? I acknowledge that about halfway through I realized I was kinda hate-reading it. The promised premise is actually such a small portion of the book surrounded by (somehow) both predictable and over-the-top events that come out of left field. Like Forrest Gump but with the Mafia and a thousand more pointless plot lines. I want to know what editor looked at this book and said “you know what? This fra I… don’t know how to properly express how much I did not like this book? But somehow I finished it? I acknowledge that about halfway through I realized I was kinda hate-reading it. The promised premise is actually such a small portion of the book surrounded by (somehow) both predictable and over-the-top events that come out of left field. Like Forrest Gump but with the Mafia and a thousand more pointless plot lines. I want to know what editor looked at this book and said “you know what? This frame narrative really adds to the story.” (Nicole is not interesting! Aubray doesn’t even try to make her interesting!) Also, I’m sorry (I’m actually not), but how are you going to write a whole ass book about a family and not give said family a last name? Make it make sense. Two-thirds of the way through I thought that I had just forgotten their last name because there was so much happening, but no. I went back to the beginning and there’s nary a mention of a last name for any characters except for the historical figures that Aubray awkwardly works into the story (and two other guys who probably were given names so you know they’re not members of our nameless family). It’s just… not great, fam. At least Forrest Gump had a last name.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Godmothers by Camille Aubray is an excellent historical fiction saga that has it all: excellent historical elements, suspense, romance, generational family saga, impressive cast of well-developed female characters, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. This book has so much, and encompasses so many individual stories that all entwine and intercept within the same family tapestry. We get to follow along within a family through the decades beginning in the 1930s and see all of the obstacle The Godmothers by Camille Aubray is an excellent historical fiction saga that has it all: excellent historical elements, suspense, romance, generational family saga, impressive cast of well-developed female characters, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. This book has so much, and encompasses so many individual stories that all entwine and intercept within the same family tapestry. We get to follow along within a family through the decades beginning in the 1930s and see all of the obstacles, triumphs, loves, losses, forged relationships, loyalties created, and lies, deceptions, heartbreaks, and overall changes. Through it all, we see a family change, grow, alter, and move throughout the years just as the world and society move around them. It was fascinating to be able to read a narrative that encompasses so many strong, formidable, passionate, intelligent, complex, and well-written female cast all drawn together and pushed apart as external and internal sources intercede. We get to see how this specific Italian/American family that is larger then life work, love, live, and raise one another’s families within NYC in such pivotal times of change: mainly the 40s-50s, the war, the mafia, the societal roles and expectations changing so rapidly. I loved reading the individual stories of Amie, Lucy, Petrina, and Filomena as well as their intertwined stories. Each have their own flaws, loyalties, strengths, weaknesses, lies, and goals. Each are well-developed and serve the overall story well. I also loved reading about the historical changes that take place simultaneously and how the family responds. Definitely never a dull moment and I really enjoyed my time with this larger then life family. Drama abounds. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and William Morrow for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Godmothers by Camille Aubray is an excellent historical fiction saga that has it all: excellent historical elements, suspense, romance, generational family saga, impressive cast of well-developed female characters, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. This book has so much, and encompasses so many individual stories that all entwine and intercept within the same family tapestry. We get to follow along within a family through the decades beginning in the 1930s and see all of the obstacle The Godmothers by Camille Aubray is an excellent historical fiction saga that has it all: excellent historical elements, suspense, romance, generational family saga, impressive cast of well-developed female characters, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. This book has so much, and encompasses so many individual stories that all entwine and intercept within the same family tapestry. We get to follow along within a family through the decades beginning in the 1930s and see all of the obstacles, triumphs, loves, losses, forged relationships, loyalties created, and lies, deceptions, heartbreaks, and overall changes. Through it all, we see a family change, grow, alter, and move throughout the years just as the world and society move around them. It was fascinating to be able to read a narrative that encompasses so many strong, formidable, passionate, intelligent, complex, and well-written female cast all drawn together and pushed apart as external and internal sources intercede. We get to see how this specific Italian/American family that is larger then life work, love, live, and raise one another’s families within NYC in such pivotal times of change: mainly the 40s-50s, the war, the mafia, the societal roles and expectations changing so rapidly. I loved reading the individual stories of Amie, Lucy, Petrina, and Filomena as well as their intertwined stories. Each have their own flaws, loyalties, strengths, weaknesses, lies, and goals. Each are well-developed and serve the overall story well. I also loved reading about the historical changes that take place simultaneously and how the family responds. Definitely never a dull moment and I really enjoyed my time with this larger then life family. Drama abounds. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and William Morrow for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Greenwald

    I received an advance copy of The Godmothers from Harper Collins for an authentic review. I loved this multigenerational saga of four strong women within a traditional Italian family during the 1930’s through predominantly the 1950’s in Greenwich Village. Secrets, power, intrigue and most importantly a love and commitment of family first makes The Godmothers a must read. Scenarios of the crime bosses and how things were “run”, this shows how these four women, familia, bond in a way that shows co I received an advance copy of The Godmothers from Harper Collins for an authentic review. I loved this multigenerational saga of four strong women within a traditional Italian family during the 1930’s through predominantly the 1950’s in Greenwich Village. Secrets, power, intrigue and most importantly a love and commitment of family first makes The Godmothers a must read. Scenarios of the crime bosses and how things were “run”, this shows how these four women, familia, bond in a way that shows courage, quick wittedness and love for one another. Each of the “Godmothers” stories are woven together in a rich historical fiction novel. The writing is descriptive yet fast paced. I didn’t want this to end and would love to see a sequel. This is the first book of Camille Aubray’s I’ve read and it won’t be the last.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joann 'bartunek' prashek

    What a wonderful novel. Thank you Goodreads for the chance to preview the book. I suggest getting this book before it flies off the shelf when it comes out in June. A wonderful story about family bonds and very strong relationships. I can't say enough marvelous things about. If you love historical ficion do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy! What a wonderful novel. Thank you Goodreads for the chance to preview the book. I suggest getting this book before it flies off the shelf when it comes out in June. A wonderful story about family bonds and very strong relationships. I can't say enough marvelous things about. If you love historical ficion do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jerrie

    LOVED THIS BOOK! Strong women are featured in many of today's best reads. You are going to meet incredible examples here as they handle rejection, emigration, war, men, family, business, crime, criminals, love, loss, and the gamut of emotions. All the characters are so diverse and you are easily wrapped up in their past, present, and future. I was so fortunate to win this wonderful book on Goodreads prior to its June publication. The tiny print was difficult for me in the large paperback "uncorr LOVED THIS BOOK! Strong women are featured in many of today's best reads. You are going to meet incredible examples here as they handle rejection, emigration, war, men, family, business, crime, criminals, love, loss, and the gamut of emotions. All the characters are so diverse and you are easily wrapped up in their past, present, and future. I was so fortunate to win this wonderful book on Goodreads prior to its June publication. The tiny print was difficult for me in the large paperback "uncorrected PROOF " version, but I did not find any errors even though they usually jump off the page at me since I did a lot of proofreading in former jobs. I don't give that many books five stars; I will definitely want to read more by this excellent writer. Some Italian phrases were translated--I wish all had been. Grab your copy of this engrossing novel as soon as it is available so you can be the one to recommend it to your family, friends, and book club. You are not going to want to put it down, but you'll have to since you are not going to finish this one in one sitting. Woven into this story are actual events involving the Mafia in America during its heyday. In the end we are reminded that some scars do not show but the wounds are so deep that they never heal no matter how we may find new love, family, wealth, and success.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    This is a fantastic family saga dealing with a large Italian family during the decades of the 1940s and 1950s. It is centered around the women of the family, the wives and daughters, and their secrets. It is a very impressive novel. Despite the fact that there are many characters, I never felt confused, since Aubray is a truly gifted author who manages to create extremely vibrant characters. These Godmothers are placed in brilliant historical perspective, especially in dealing with the mobsters This is a fantastic family saga dealing with a large Italian family during the decades of the 1940s and 1950s. It is centered around the women of the family, the wives and daughters, and their secrets. It is a very impressive novel. Despite the fact that there are many characters, I never felt confused, since Aubray is a truly gifted author who manages to create extremely vibrant characters. These Godmothers are placed in brilliant historical perspective, especially in dealing with the mobsters who ran NYC during those days. She made her characters witnesses to real events that are still discussed. She was also able to blend in events of WWII and how those impacted the family. These Godmothers are fascinating women and their backstories engaged the reader and brought them to life. The stories were easily believable for me, since I recall hidden pregnancies and children being raised by older relatives who took the role of parents. I was totally involved in the novel and was able to visualize every character. I highly recommend this to reading groups. I am confident they will love it as I did and have many interesting discussions. Thank you Netgalley for this wonderful novel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    The Godmothers is a WWII era story of the lives of four women who marry into the same large Italian family. Centered in Greenwich Village in the 1940’s, each of these completely different women has a secret past and all four of them band together to help each other’s children. Fully fleshed-out characters, that are engaging from the start of the book, drive a great story forward. Compulsively readable I wholeheartedly suggest you add this to your TBR list! I received my advance copy from the publ The Godmothers is a WWII era story of the lives of four women who marry into the same large Italian family. Centered in Greenwich Village in the 1940’s, each of these completely different women has a secret past and all four of them band together to help each other’s children. Fully fleshed-out characters, that are engaging from the start of the book, drive a great story forward. Compulsively readable I wholeheartedly suggest you add this to your TBR list! I received my advance copy from the publisher.

  13. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Won 🏆🏅 this via goodreads giveaways. All my opinions are my own:) --- Not my cuppa unfortunately:(

  14. 5 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    It's fine. Some really well-written parts. But it takes more than 50% of the book before it actually gets around to the central premise. There's establishing a status quo, and then there's just spinning wheels. It's like if Back to the Future waited an hour to send Marty back in time. By the time they actually became the Godmothers, I barely cared anymore because there'd been far too much of Standard Mobster Shit, But from the Wives' Point of View. Overall a disappointment. It's fine. Some really well-written parts. But it takes more than 50% of the book before it actually gets around to the central premise. There's establishing a status quo, and then there's just spinning wheels. It's like if Back to the Future waited an hour to send Marty back in time. By the time they actually became the Godmothers, I barely cared anymore because there'd been far too much of Standard Mobster Shit, But from the Wives' Point of View. Overall a disappointment.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Henk

    Wow!!!! I could not put this book down and when I did I couldn’t wait to pick it back up! Loved the characters and the era the book took place in. I really really loved this book, it’s going to be one I remember for a long time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Onome

    Beautiful story. So much drama but the story had me turning the pages! ❤

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paula Engle

    Wow! What a story! I loved reading of the 'family' of sisters-in-law ie The Godmothers and their growing love for each other. Family is everything to them. A must read - a real page turner! Wow! What a story! I loved reading of the 'family' of sisters-in-law ie The Godmothers and their growing love for each other. Family is everything to them. A must read - a real page turner!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Jo

    A simple writing style but a very entertaining family saga of life among the NYC mafia. I appreciated the strong women characters and really enjoyed the boom.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I loved everything about this book; Family secrets, bickering, and loyalty, gangsters during World War II, strong, independent women!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen Ken

    The Godmothers by Camille Aubrey is, in my opinion, an incredible, intriguing historical fiction read at its best. Without giving away any spoilers, four women with deep, intense personal secrets marry five brothers who have mob ties. When the men go off to World War II and leave home for various reasons, it was up to the Godmothers to continue running the family business and these brave women believed that family always came first. This book had it all including danger, suspense, romance, histo The Godmothers by Camille Aubrey is, in my opinion, an incredible, intriguing historical fiction read at its best. Without giving away any spoilers, four women with deep, intense personal secrets marry five brothers who have mob ties. When the men go off to World War II and leave home for various reasons, it was up to the Godmothers to continue running the family business and these brave women believed that family always came first. This book had it all including danger, suspense, romance, history and was well written and researched by the author. I loved the storyline, found it original and gripping, and at times heartbreaking and couldn’t put it down. I received an Uncorrected Proof of this book and these opinions are solely my own. Thank you to the author and HarperCollins Publishers for sending this to me. I rated it a five.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    Four very strong women from a variety of backgrounds make their mark joined together by family. Each woman came into the family bearing secrets but when their men left them to head off to war or other troubles, they shared those secrets making a blood oath to work together to protect the family. As the Godmothers, they take on the family businesses, paying the mob bosses and others as well as battling another family who seeks to destroy them. Compared to THE GODFATHER, these women come from Franc Four very strong women from a variety of backgrounds make their mark joined together by family. Each woman came into the family bearing secrets but when their men left them to head off to war or other troubles, they shared those secrets making a blood oath to work together to protect the family. As the Godmothers, they take on the family businesses, paying the mob bosses and others as well as battling another family who seeks to destroy them. Compared to THE GODFATHER, these women come from France, Italy and Ireland and are definitely a force to be reckoned with not cast away in the kitchen. Their children carry on the tradition of hard work with a propensity to get into trouble. These strong, smart women will inspire and give us a very different perspective of the Italian/American family caught by war at home and abroad. THE GODMOTHERS will make historical fiction readers an offer they can't refuse. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy. 4 1/2 stars

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

    I loved the book! The characters are very well developed and tie nicely together in this clever story. The family saga starts in the 1930s and tells the stories of the individual women and how they are about to join the same Italian American family in NYC. All have secrets. The story then continues through WW II and the 1950s. I found it altogether an upbeat tribute to female friendships, despite many unusual situations. Godmothers & mobsters- this historical fiction is very refreshing!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I received an ARC from the publisher and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. The Godmothers caught my eye due to the way it centers the women involved in the mafia life and the bonds they form with one another while finding themselves in charge in their husbands’ absences. My main complaint about some of the major mafia-centric stories (ie The Godfather) is the overall masculinity and sexism they project, and this story presented an intimate look at mob life from the women’ I received an ARC from the publisher and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. The Godmothers caught my eye due to the way it centers the women involved in the mafia life and the bonds they form with one another while finding themselves in charge in their husbands’ absences. My main complaint about some of the major mafia-centric stories (ie The Godfather) is the overall masculinity and sexism they project, and this story presented an intimate look at mob life from the women’s perspectives. While tackling five perspectives (that of the four women and that of one of their daughters) seems like a daunting task, it flows together fairly seamlessly, demonstrating how Filomena, Lucy, Amie, and Petrina started off in very different situations and ended up thrown together due to their marriages into the Family, resulting in their close bond, highlighted by the much more intricate and interwoven style of the chapters in which they are all living and working together, as well as reflecting on how their origins impacted their later life choices. This book is a bit of a slow build, covering a large amount of time as the Family goes through the Second World War and its aftermath, along with the many challenges it brings them. But in spite of the pacing, I was never bored and it’s a book I felt constantly engaged in. This is a beautiful family saga and delightfully original perspective on life in the mob. If mob/mafia fiction interests you, but you want something more centered on the women, you won’t want to miss this one!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lori Sinsel Harris

    This is the story of 4 women from 4 very different background that end up part of one Italian family with connections to the mob, in 1930s Greenwich Village, New York. The novel starts by telling us of the women, introducing each character, their personalities and the stories of how they became sisters-in-law, and eventually godmother to each other's children. When tragedies befall the family, forcing the men to be away, the Godmothers take over the "business." This novel is the story of family and This is the story of 4 women from 4 very different background that end up part of one Italian family with connections to the mob, in 1930s Greenwich Village, New York. The novel starts by telling us of the women, introducing each character, their personalities and the stories of how they became sisters-in-law, and eventually godmother to each other's children. When tragedies befall the family, forcing the men to be away, the Godmothers take over the "business." This novel is the story of family and loyalty. It shows the value of freindship and trust and the value of children and how they are our future, they need to be loved, encouraged and protected. This novel tells the story of one generation doing everything in their power to ensure a better future for the next generation, its about how we live our lives and what legacy we leave behind. Wonderfully scripted, the characters come alive from the very first page, weaving a story of complicated lives and relationships that you can't put down. I finished this book in a day and a half. Very readable and not your usually WWII fictional novel, the war is in the background, not part of the central focus of the book, which was refreshing for me as I read tons and tons of WWII centered books. 5 stars recommend highly. This book is scheduled for 6/15/2021, so be sure to grab a copy. Thanks to William Morrow publihing and Net Galley for ARC of this book, I am leaving my honest review in return.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christine Corrigan

    The Godmothers by Camille Aubray is a historical fiction novel about the intertwined lives of four sisters-in-law who are part of a large Italian-American family and who have ties to "The Family." Having grown up in the 1970's on Staten Island, many of the names in the book were quite familiar. But more than a novel about the mob, it's an intergenerational family story, spanning the 1930's to the 1950's and featuring strong female characters with their own secrets, loyalties, and foibles. The ma The Godmothers by Camille Aubray is a historical fiction novel about the intertwined lives of four sisters-in-law who are part of a large Italian-American family and who have ties to "The Family." Having grown up in the 1970's on Staten Island, many of the names in the book were quite familiar. But more than a novel about the mob, it's an intergenerational family story, spanning the 1930's to the 1950's and featuring strong female characters with their own secrets, loyalties, and foibles. The main characters: Petrina, Lucy, Amie, and Filomena work ceaselessly in a male-dominated and patriarchal family and businesses to ensure their children's future success and safety. My only quibble was the set-up for the narrative--asking one of the godmother's if there are any skeletons in the family closet in the face of a federal background check. I don't think that was really needed. The story of the Godmothers was more than enough. All in all, a fun, fast-paced read, which will be a welcome addition to anyone's summer reading list as the novel releases in June. Thank you to William Morrow for the advance copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I just finished this book, with tears in my eyes. What remarkable women, what remarkable lives. It may be a work of fiction, but I’m going to pretend they were real bad a$$ babes. Billed as Big Little Lies set in World War II Greenwich Village, The Godmothers does not disappoint and certainly lives up to the hype! When the book opens Nicole is at dinner with her husband. He informs her that he is up for a job at the State Department and the FBI will need to do a full, deep investigation of their f I just finished this book, with tears in my eyes. What remarkable women, what remarkable lives. It may be a work of fiction, but I’m going to pretend they were real bad a$$ babes. Billed as Big Little Lies set in World War II Greenwich Village, The Godmothers does not disappoint and certainly lives up to the hype! When the book opens Nicole is at dinner with her husband. He informs her that he is up for a job at the State Department and the FBI will need to do a full, deep investigation of their families. Needing some clarity, Nicole needs to reach out to her Godmother for some more details about their family. We’re then introduced to The Godmothers, four sisters-in-law that come from different backgrounds and corners of the world (France, Ireland, Italy, New York). These tough cookies are truly the backbone of their family. Their strength and dedication is admirable. The book starts off a little slow as you meet all the ladies and their back stories, but quickly becomes unputdownable. This book is available tomorrow and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone interested in reading historical fiction! Many thanks to @williammorrowbooks for an early copy of this fabulous book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Wow. I really, really enjoyed this book! Camille Aubray managed to find an era and location that is often overlooked in historical fiction and make it come alive. The Godmothers is an intriguing read because there are several storylines going that end up converging on a single storyline, that of the Godmothers and their children (i.e. 'the family'), but there isn't really a climbing plot line that climaxes and then resolves. Normally I would say this makes the novel boring, but not this one. Som Wow. I really, really enjoyed this book! Camille Aubray managed to find an era and location that is often overlooked in historical fiction and make it come alive. The Godmothers is an intriguing read because there are several storylines going that end up converging on a single storyline, that of the Godmothers and their children (i.e. 'the family'), but there isn't really a climbing plot line that climaxes and then resolves. Normally I would say this makes the novel boring, but not this one. Somehow it still manages to be interesting and exciting at once. I feel like that may be because the characters and setting are so unique, but whatever the reason I'm here for it. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the many characters, and never felt that I was confused on who was who or what their role in the family was. Each main character was thoroughly introduced and even some of the sub characters (generally the husbands and children of the Godmothers) are introduced and developed. Overall, I enjoyed this book very much and would be so excited for Aubray to develop this era and setting with future novels!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This was a great novel about four godmothers (Filomena, Amie, Lucy, and Petrina) who end up having to take charge of their family once their men go off to war or are out of the picture for various reasons. I really liked the tone of the novel and that each woman was given their own points of view because they all had such unique stories. This book is very compelling; it revolves around a group of women who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their husbands and children, including havi This was a great novel about four godmothers (Filomena, Amie, Lucy, and Petrina) who end up having to take charge of their family once their men go off to war or are out of the picture for various reasons. I really liked the tone of the novel and that each woman was given their own points of view because they all had such unique stories. This book is very compelling; it revolves around a group of women who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their husbands and children, including having to deal with well known gangsters during the WWII era. I was a huge fan of the plot of the novel and thought the pacing was done well by the author, considering that the story of the family spans for decades. However, towards the end of the novel, once the story jumped forward to the late 1950s, the story started to drag quite a bit. I felt as if the author could have done without some parts of the story and made the novel a bit shorter. All in all, it was a great read and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Camille Aubray’s novels. Thank you so much to William Morrow for providing me with an ARC of the novel! :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    This is the tale of four sisters-in-law- the godmothers- who unexpectedly find themselves running things in the family's loan operation during WWII and into the 1950s. While this starts with Nicole asking for information that might come out if her husband is investigated for an important job in DC, the 1980 story is only a frame at the beginning and the end. Amie, Filomena Lucy, and Petrina each have an important secrets, one of which won't be revealed until late in the novel. Amie, Filomena and This is the tale of four sisters-in-law- the godmothers- who unexpectedly find themselves running things in the family's loan operation during WWII and into the 1950s. While this starts with Nicole asking for information that might come out if her husband is investigated for an important job in DC, the 1980 story is only a frame at the beginning and the end. Amie, Filomena Lucy, and Petrina each have an important secrets, one of which won't be revealed until late in the novel. Amie, Filomena and Lucy all married into the family while Petrina did everything she could to escape it but as it turns out, she can't Then there's the matriarch, Tessa, who rules and who keeps the book, which eventually passes to Filomena (no spoilers). The husbands-Johnny, Frankie and Mario-are less important in this crime family than the women. It's a quick (page turning) entertaining read with characters who are drawn with a broad brush in spots but still engaging. Oh- and there are some real bad guys in the mix. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. For fans of historical fiction and those looking for a different take on organized crime.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Keely

    When World War II takes the men of a prominent New York Italian family away, it falls to their sister and their wives to keep the family business running in their absence. Even as they raise their young children, "godmothers" Filomena, Lucy, Amy, and Petrina manage to keep the money rolling in while at the same time fending off the predatory mobsters looking to take advantage of four women on their own. And while they're in charge, they even put into motion a plan to get out from under the Bosse When World War II takes the men of a prominent New York Italian family away, it falls to their sister and their wives to keep the family business running in their absence. Even as they raise their young children, "godmothers" Filomena, Lucy, Amy, and Petrina manage to keep the money rolling in while at the same time fending off the predatory mobsters looking to take advantage of four women on their own. And while they're in charge, they even put into motion a plan to get out from under the Bosses' thumbs and go completely legit with their business dealings. This was entertaining, but it was one of those novels that never really lets its tensions breathe. In this respect, it reminded me of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Every problem is resolved too quickly and easily, as though the writer is reluctant to let the characters or the audience suffer. This makes the story pleasant, but it doesn't make it something you really feel. The Godmothers doesn't offer many surprises either, because whenever something big is about to happen, it's telegraphed a few pages beforehand.

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