In this heartfelt memoir, Donna Florio invites the reader to Bank Street, home to not only herself and her family, but many interesting, unique, tragic and memorable people and their stories. Florio tells the tales of suspected communists, authors, and recording artists alongside some of the tragedies of the time, such as the AIDS epidemic, mental illness, and hoarding. Growing Up Bank Street shows that it takes a village to raise a child, and Bank Street was Donna’s colorful, loving village.
Donna Florio’s love for Bank Street and the people that make it up came through the pages so clearly; I could really tell that she has a special place in her heart for many of its residents. Florio invites the reader in through her words and the residents keep you coming back for more. I enjoyed reading about many of the people who have played a role, large or small, in Florio’s life, especially those I was already familiar with, such as Sid Vicious, or those that had a particularly interesting story to tell, like Stella Crater. There were some parts that seemed to drag a little and didn't intrigue me as much as others, but overall it was an enjoyable look at Bank Street and those that graced the doorways of its buildings.
With a mix of well-known, famous and infamous residents, along with many unknowns, Growing Up Bank Street is as varying and inclusive in its stories as the street itself. If you are a fan of memoirs I would recommend you check out Growing Up Bank Street.
Thank you to BookishFirst and New York University Press for gifting me an electronic copy of Growing Up Bank Street by Donna Florio in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are my own.