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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: May 2011 ISBN: 9781455198962
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christina | 1/21/2014

    " Another cleverly written book jacket that sucks you in for one memoir only to be something else completely. I only kept going to see what Dad was arrested for and it wasn't worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie Evans | 1/16/2014

    " Very interesting story about growing up in a mafia family. It is a true and well written story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keith | 1/15/2014

    " This was torture to finish. Yawn. Yawn again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Synesthesia | 1/9/2014

    " She has a lot of love for her parents, because children tend to love them no matter what but they were kind of mean to her. I know there's the old school and all, but I hate the old school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 7/16/2013

    " The book was so interesting! However, I feel like it started to drag as I got toward the end of the memoir. Overall, I did enjoy it despite the redundant occurrences. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 6/19/2013

    " this book was not as interesting as I thought it would be. I wanted to learn more about the child's perspective. But, I was halfway through the book, she was grown up, and we still had no hint about what was going on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 6/17/2013

    " Very good book about finding out your family secrets and the juxtaposition of what you remember and feel about growing up and the realities. Her parent's cancer made me very emotional and made me wonder why I was reading this book, but I stuck it out and I'm glad that I did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 6/6/2013

    " fantastic memoir about a daughter who's father is in the mob. well-written, compelling story. some adult content, but a great read overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill Delaney | 5/25/2013

    " could have had a little more editing, but interesting story. I cried. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 2/26/2013

    " Could have been really interesting. They way it was written made an interesting story uninteresting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 12/14/2012

    " Interesting memoir by the daughter of a mob connected father and loving mother. Lots of crying by the author, though easy to understand the depth of her sadness and pain. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fran | 11/29/2012

    " This book could have used a harsh editor that would have cut the length by at least 200 pages. There was a bit of an interesting story in there somewhere, but you had to get through a bunch of repetitive nonsense to get there. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristin | 9/10/2012

    " the worst ever; couldn't finish. not a good writer and not really an interesting story. memoir of a girl / woman who grows up with parents she doesn't realize are life-long criminals. sounded kind of interesting but WASN'T! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Krista | 1/27/2012

    " I'd rate this 2.5 stars if I could. I liked it and it was interesting, but it wasn't all that engaging and I found myself skimming at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Flatley | 6/8/2011

    " As the daughter of an FBI Agent who worked organized crime for 20 years Mascia's memoir of life as the daughter of a mob boss was fascinating. Two sides of the same mirror. A really good read full of humor and remembrance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 5/8/2011

    " Well, be careful digging into your family's history as you don't know what you may uncover. This memoir of a highly dysfunctional family with ties to the mafia was chilling and sad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristy | 3/1/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 11/11/2010

    " could have had a little more editing, but interesting story. I cried. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alison | 9/27/2010

    " I stopped reading halfway through, completely self indulgent and boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 7/17/2010

    " An interesting biography giving insight to how one can love someone who is capable of terrible things. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristin | 7/11/2010

    " the worst ever; couldn't finish. not a good writer and not really an interesting story. memoir of a girl / woman who grows up with parents she doesn't realize are life-long criminals. sounded kind of interesting but WASN'T! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 7/11/2010

    " Interesting memoir by the daughter of a mob connected father and loving mother. Lots of crying by the author, though easy to understand the depth of her sadness and pain. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christina | 6/3/2010

    " Another cleverly written book jacket that sucks you in for one memoir only to be something else completely. I only kept going to see what Dad was arrested for and it wasn't worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristina | 6/1/2010

    " I am entering the beach reading season! This woman uncovers the secret past her parents have tried hide. Who doesn't like a nice mafia story? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 5/19/2010

    " Well, be careful digging into your family's history as you don't know what you may uncover. This memoir of a highly dysfunctional family with ties to the mafia was chilling and sad. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Robin Miles began her audiobook narration in 1994 covering many different genres and has won twenty-six AudioFile Earphones awards. In 2014 she won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in the Inspirational/Faith-Based Nonfiction category. Her film and television credits include The Last Days of Disco, Primary Colors, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, New York Undercover, National Geographic’s Tales from the Wild, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She regularly gives seminars to members of SAG and AFTRA actors’ unions, and in 2005 she started Narration Arts Workshop in New York City, offering audiobook recording classes and coaching. She holds a BA degree in Theater Studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.