Donna Florio was born and raised at 63 Bank Street in New York City, a now iconic street consisting of six blocks and a wide range of social classes and people.
Growing Up Bank Street describes Donna’s childhood in the 1960s growing up in a busy apartment building with an array of characters. Though her life would seem anything but normal to outsiders, for her, it was all the norm. Bank Street was well ahead of its time in terms of racial and sexual diversity and this exposed Donna to a beautiful and crazy life.
The novel tells many stories of the tenants at 63 Bank Street as well as some of the more reputable or famous residents who lived elsewhere on the street. I loved the connections the neighbors made with each other in a seemingly anonymous city. It was really special how they looked out for one another and how many of them became family.
I preferred the chapters that went into detail about specific people rather than the parts of the book that highlighted many different people and events. I also think I would have enjoyed this book more had I been more familiar with many of the people she discussed. Even most of the celebrities weren’t overly familiar to me as I don’t have much historical knowledge about famous actors and individuals. For someone knowledgeable about Broadway actors and iconic people living in NYC in the 1960s and 1970s, I’m sure they will adore this book.
Thank you to NetGalley, BookishFirst, and New York University Press for a copy of this novel.