by William Boyle - £8.99 No Exit Press (2019)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780857301307 | ISBN 10: 0857301306
Thelma and Louise meets Goodfellas when an unlikely trio of women in New York find themselves banding together to escape the clutches of violent figures from their pasts.
After Brooklyn mob widow Rena Ruggiero hits her eighty-year-old neighbour Enzio in the head with an ashtray when he makes an unwanted move on her, she retreats to the Bronx home of her estranged daughter, Adrienne, and her granddaughter, Lucia, only to be turned away at the door. Their neighbour, Lacey “Wolfie” Wolfstein, a one-time Golden Age porn star and retired Florida Suncoast grifter, takes Rena in and befriends her. When Lucia discovers that Adrienne is planning to hit the road with her ex-boyfriend, she figures Rena is her only way out of a life on the run with a mother she can’t stand. The stage is set for an explosion that will propel Rena, Wolfie, and Lucia down a strange path, each woman running from their demons, no matter what the cost.
A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself is a screwball noir about finding friendship and family where you least expect it, in which William Boyle again draws readers into the familiar - and sometimes frightening - world in the shadows at the edges of New York’s neighbourhoods.
(Price & availability last checked: January 2020)