The Company She Keeps-- Georgia Durante
Something about the mafia has always interested me. I'm obviously not alone or The Godfather, Goodfellas or The Sopranos would never have become such massive hits. But, as much as I may joke about my grandmother's connections to the Chicago mafia, I'd never actually want to be associated or friendly with anyone who was in the mob.
Georgia Durante obviously didn't have the same conviction. From a young age, the former model was considered a staple in the Rochester Mafia scene. If her story is to be believed, and I do believe her only because there are too many names in this book for her not to have written the absolute truth, then she's led a hell of a life.
We all make choices we sometimes regret, but Durante's created a life built upon regrets. From Rochester, she moved to New York and California, all with her wife-beating, cheating, mafia-connected husband in tow. She surrounded herself with bad people, acted as the get-away driver for various mob-related hits, and found herself in relationship after relationship with some really screwed up men.
In an effort to straighten out her life, Durante created a professional stunt-driving business and now does much of the stunt work we see in commercials and film. Though not without obstacles, her business has become successful and she is reputed to be among the best female stunt-drivers in the world.
Durante's story is really interesting! Many a time, I wanted to climb into the book, sit her down and say "listen, girlfriend, you don't need to go back to him." Or "He's LYING you idiot!!" But, it was fascinating to read about her choices from the perspective that age has given her. Like The Sopranos gave us insight into the life of a mafia boss, so, too, does The Company She Keeps give us a window into the life of a beauty queen, a battered wife, and a successful businesswoman. It's an interesting view and one worth peeping into. Just don't let the cops know you're watching...