Cover image for Divorced from the Mob : my journey from organized crime to independent woman
Divorced from the Mob : my journey from organized crime to independent woman
Giovino, Andrea.
Personal Author:
First Carroll and Graf edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf, 2004.
Physical Description:
x, 258 pages ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6452.N72 G56 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HV6452.N72 G56 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HV6452.N72 G56 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
HV6452.N72 G56 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
HV6452.N72 G56 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HV6452.N72 G56 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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Divorced from the Mob breaks the mob code of silence and describes the life of Andrea Giovino, a woman born and bred into the Mafia, and her inspirational escape. Sexy and street-smart, Giovino married a mob drug runner, earned a seat at '80s nightclub tables next to John Gotti, and took an emotional and bloody ride through organized crime. Hers was also the task of keeping her children safe--keeping the guns out of reach, washing bloodstains out of her husband's clothes--and maintaining the household's front as a model of American domesticity in her quietly luxurious Staten Island neighborhood of doctors and lawyers, all the while helping manage a criminal enterprise that raked in money. A murder, a DEA set-up, and FBI wiretaps finally brought Giovino, her husband, and her brother to the brink of prison. Defiantly, Giovino chose to retain her identity, facing down threats against her life and courageously divorcing herself and her children from the Gambino world of organized crime. Now a model working parent, Giovino has penned this perspective of mob life largely unexplored by film and literature, and a headline-grabbing expose of organized crime told in a voice readers will never forget.

Author Notes

A mother of four children, Andrea Giovino refused to enter the Witness Protection Program despite knowing there was a contract out on her life. Indicted in 1992 with her husband and brother on charges of conspiring to distribute marijuana and cocaine in Brooklyn and Staten Island, she was relocated in return for her husband and brother's cooperation with the government. She currently resides in rural Pennsylvania
Gary Brozek is a writer and editor living in New York City

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Giovino's hair-raising biography reads like a fast-paced work of fiction. Born into a neighborhood and a family with strong ties to the Mob, she learned at an early age what she needed to do to survive in a criminal culture governed by its own peculiar standards and rules. Taking full responsibility for her immoral actions and illegal activities in this frank confessional, she paints a revealing portrait of a street-savvy wisegal. While hobnobbing with John Gotti and helping to manage a lucrative drug operation, she was also playing house in an exclusive Staten Island neighborhood and raising four children. Eventually busted by a DEA sting operation, she chose to cooperate with the authorities to protect her children and turn her life around. Without pulling any punches, Giovino provides a more chilling and decidedly less glamorous view of Mob life than the average episode of The Sopranos. --Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Giovino was growing up in 1960s Brooklyn, her mother hosted an illegal gambling operation for some mob-connected guys two days a week in the family's basement. Apart from the money, this boosted her mother's prestige, since "in a poor neighborhood, even being close to criminals was a status symbol." After seventh grade, Giovino dropped out of school and spent her days doing odd jobs and babysitting; nights were for cruising the clubs, and she ended up pregnant and married. Husband number one folded fast, but in spite of Giovino's insistence that "[m]otherhood made me flame-retardant," she spent the next few decades falling for a series of wrong guys. Giovino's problem? She was attracted to rich and powerful men, which, where she lived, meant men connected with the mob. Eventually, she was arrested in a DEA sting and decided to come clean. In spite of occasional spurts of psychology jargon (her mom "negatively... influenced our psychological development," etc.), Giovino's voice rings true. She'll gush about her latest love, and then as if sensing readers' skepticism snarl, "So fucking what if maybe all that is just clich? on top of clich?." Later, Giovino considers the camaraderie between her husband and his buddy after they whacked someone: "Once you killed with somebody it was like getting married, a kind of private ceremony, but since nobody could keep their mouths completely shut... it was a public declaration of your commitment to each other.... It's sick and sad that it takes murder to bring men together." Great literature it's not, but Giovino's memoir is raw and very real. Agent, Nancy Ellis. (May) Forecast: Fans of true crime and mob lore will be attracted to this story of a real-life Carmela Soprano, and a national author tour and print, TV and radio interviews will put Giovino in the spotlight. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Impressed into a life of crime at a young age, Giovino recounts her story, from stealing food from a local grocer as a child (at her mother's insistence) to her arrest by the DEA and subsequent threats to her life after she decided to come clean. The events in between are just as interesting and disturbing: she helped her mother host card games for local Mafia, became the "kept woman" of a captain of one of the crime families, got married to a mobster, entered the loansharking business, and was eventually arrested on charges of conspiring to distribute marijuana and cocaine. Giovino has emerged from all this a strong woman who refuses to enter the Witness Protection Program for the sake of her family. A new addition to a recent spate of books by women connected with Mafia life, this work is more unusual and better written than many of the genre. Recommended for public libraries where Mafia-related true crime is popular.-Sarah Jent, Univ. of Louisville Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Chapter 1 Poverty Makes Strange Bedfellowsp. 1
Chapter 2 Cinderella Out of Brooklynp. 15
Chapter 3 Performing Live and In Living Chaos, It's the Silvestrisp. 27
Chapter 4 Escapep. 45
Chapter 5 One Step Forward, Two Steps Backp. 57
Chapter 6 Mergers and Acquisitionsp. 87
Chapter 7 The Pendulum Swingsp. 101
Chapter 8 Lovers and Other Felonsp. 121
Chapter 9 Hostage-Takingp. 133
Chapter 10 Allies and Enemiesp. 159
Chapter 11 Hitting Bottomp. 173
Chapter 12 The Stupid and the Deadp. 203
Chapter 13 Do the Right Thingp. 229
Chapter 14 Like Thieves in the Nightp. 247
Afterwordp. 255
Acknowledgmentsp. 257
About the Authorsp. 261