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2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (176 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennifer Mascia Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 twenty-two, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[The] deep bond of amily loyalty is at the heart of the book. Masica wrestles with it and circles back to it throughout the narrative, trying to make sense of her life as she finds out secret after secret after secret.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Mascia’s easy flowing writing style will quickly draw readers in, leaving them anxious to reach the next saga in her tenebrous, migratory life.”

    True Crime Book 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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Darcee | 2/15/2014

    " Slow going at first then I couldn't put it down. Dysfunctional family, hidden pasts, numerous references to St. John's Knits. Not much more to want really. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kristy Vann | 2/10/2014

    " Did not finish, very slow! I could not get into it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Becky C. | 2/1/2014

    " I listened to this and it was very hard to stick with it until the end (18 parts). I definitely liked the first half better than the second half. It's an interesting story but it just seemed to go on far too long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Megan | 1/23/2014

    " In this book, Mascia describes her odd but loving childhood with vaguely criminal parents, her parents' painful deaths from cancer, and her subsequent discovery of just how criminal her father really was. She spends a great deal of time on how grief-stricken her parents' deaths made her feel, and she seems to cry about it at the drop of a hat. It actually got a little old - didn't she know that her parents would die before she did? Still, they did both die while she was in her 20s, and in rather painful ways, so I tried to squash that little voice of criticism. I found the psychology of how she discovered the depth of her father's criminal past and reconciled it with her own memories and sense of self to be more interesting than the drawn-out grief over their deaths. "

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About the Author

Jennifer Mascia graduated from Hunter College in 2001 and received an MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2007. She has spent the past three years as the nightside news assistant on the metro desk of the New York Times.