on August 10, 2002
Georgia Durante's story is one of a kind. If it were to be a work of fiction, it would be considered to be too unreal to be true, because it seems too unbelievable that someone can get through all of this AND live to tell about it. But "The Company She Keeps" isn't a work of fiction. It's a breathtaking and courageous account of a breathtaking and courageous life only life itself can write. What I admire most about this well-crafted book is the honesty with which the story is told. There is simply no trace of an accusatory tone that one might expect in a book about a woman who survived organized crime, rape, an abusive marriage, threats to her life, a stalker, the law and the outlaws...(read the book for a complete list...). On the contrary, Georgia Durante admits to mistakes and the things that drew her, her thirst for adventure and life in the fast lane. And I respect that. I think it's this honesty with herself and the fact that she allows us to see all of it , through her own eyes- including the weaknesses and the messiness - that is the true achievement of this book.
Because it speaks from a place within, it has the power to reach out to others. And it certainly has reached me.
Even though I think "The Company She Keeps" is a book for women, it really is an inspiration for everybody. It's the true story of a true survivor, an encouragement to believe that "where's a will, there's a way."
I appreciate her courage to tear the silence and speak out against abuse. It's comforting to know that there is a book out there that women in similar situations may stumble upon and realize that they too can heal.
I sure would love to see Georgia Durante's story translated into German. Her life - model, mafia wife, stuntlady - makes a mix a German audience would certainly want to know more about...What do you mean, she's beautiful AND can drive a fast car?
on November 16, 2010
Absolutely waste of time. I started the book yesterday, and two chapters into it, I felt so supprised how could a book with such a low quality receive those five star reviews, which is the reason why I bought it at first hand. The story is bad, the language is poor, and shallow. Don't waste your time. I never wrote a review in my entire life, as I think a good book speak for itself, but this time I just feel so angry about this one. Similar reason with the other reivewer I came across, I give it 3 starts to get my opinion to be seen, and hopefully save a few readers from being deceived by the untrue reviews.
on March 5, 2004
The Company She Keeps wound up being a lot more than I thought it was going to be. The cover made me think I was getting a look at life in The Mob from someone who was there. What I read was a story of a woman who was dealt a lot of rough hands but turned them into wins and lessons learned. It's amazing how Georgia Durante could suffer challenge after challenge and grow stronger through it all. So many others would just take the hits and fall down.
When Georgia tells her story of what was in her life, she presents points and ideas that teach lessons to the reader today. You see things through her heart and eyes as she survives an abusive marriage. You feel yourself get stronger as you travel with her on her escape from her abuser. You realize that no matter how much someone tears you down you always have the power to rebuild your life. You cheer as Georgia shares the happy times of her life with her parents and her children. You get the urge to follow your own dreams as Georgia finds hers as a stunt driver in Hollywood.
The Company She Keeps also shows how far we've come as a society in recognizing the problem of domestic violence. I don't want to be a spoiler, but you'll be shocked how the police used to deal with this matter. Georgia found out in a very real way.
I've read and heard about so many so-called self help books that tell you how to get through the tough times and have a great life. Those authors greatest feats are stepping on a stage and talking. Georgia's greatest feat has been living her life, facing reality and sharing the paths she took so others can find theirs.
The Company She Keeps is a book that will make a good person realize their true value and become an even greater person.
on July 14, 2003
The reason why I tiltled this review as "A Different Prospective" is because I believe that at 16 my review is not that of a "typical reader" to this type of book. You may even wonder now that you know my age what creditability do I even have on rating this book at all. How ever I believe that age is just a number and that it doesn't fully represent my capacity to learn and express myself.
When I went to the book store and ordered this book, I was expecting it to be a story about a woman and her life in, around and being married to Mafia men. How ever when I started reading it I found out that the author had put so much more into this book, it was like nothing I have ever read before.
Not only did this book have the suspense and dram of the typical Mafia book it was the authors very personal, shocking and true experiences thru her life.
Typical books of this genre tend to show all the glitz and glamor of the life most of us have never come close to living and in some sense making it seem almost compelling enough that you the reader would like to experience it. These type of books tend to romanticize the Mafia and all of it corruption and often leave out the brutal truth of the underworld. In Ms. Durante's book this is not true, she uses her knowledge and personal experience to give the reader a heart wrenching, breath taking look on every aspect of the underworld.
I promise you that this book has so much more to offer than just a story of a woman involved in the Mafia. It is more about a personal struggle that is very descriptively presented to the reader in such a way you feel as if you are watching the whole thing unfold before you. This is truly the type of book that makes you feel that you know the author like you would your bestfriend, because of the vivid details.
People who read this book can take a lot away from it. This is a very graphic, gripping book that tears at your heart strings. A story I believe can effect anyone who takes the time to read it. I would recommend it to anyone especially someone who is struggling in their life with an abusive situation or with their past or present situation. It truly reinstates that there is hope in any situation if you preserver enough.
on July 17, 2002
After over 25 years of silent suffering, author, Georgia Durante opens up her soul, risking everything in hopes of bringing salvation to many of the lost souls out there trapped in their individual prisons. She does not try to make excuses for the mistakes she has made. The pure honesty of this book and the courage it took to write it is a testament to the author. I, for one, have learned some valuable lessons. I could see my own life on many of these pages. The depth of the story has provoked me to read the book over and over again as I face new trials in my life. She has proven to me that one can WIN against all odds.
This gripping saga takes the reader to places that are only seen in movies. They say that truth is stranger than fiction and this book certainly drives that point home. The characters are painted so vividly that all your emotions will come alive. Some that you will hate and others you will love. Each page of the book is compelling reading and will leave you anticipating the next. Even though it is 456 pages long, I found myself so disappointed that it had ended. I would love to read a sequel! It's that good!
I have shared this book with numerous people from various walks of life. Each person received a different message tailored for their unique circumstances. It's more than just a riveting read, it is an awe inspiring story that speaks to a mass audience and motivates and encourages the reader (man or woman) to seek new vision for their life.
It's hard to walk away from this book feeling discouraged or disappointed. Anyone who can say that they could after reading this has not yet tapped into their own spirituality.
on July 17, 2002
DON'T JUDGE THIS BOOK BY ITS COVER!! The jacket is an artist's intrepretaion of a young woman's life-long story to save her own life and that of her children. She learns to keep the abusers at bay and develop a life for herself and her children.
I'm writing this as the widower of 11 years and the Dad of a 17-year-old daugthter. Georgia's story details her uncompromising will to succeed on her own merit and protect her children. Sound familiar readers?
Something I needed to hear and share with my own daughter, now entering a high peer pressure world ready to devour her at every turn and challege her sound judgment in exchange for profit or glamor. Sound familiar, parents ?
I have the opportuity to work with abused spouses and children, so I took it on myself to researach the validity of Ms. Durante, her story and the responsive letters from readers some two years ago. The result was a review of the reams of letters from women whose own lives have been changed....... and indeed saved by reading and believing in Georgia and her story. This book is model for people abusive situations, who are seeking a way
The book is real, the results to reader is real and so is the author.
Raped at 17 by her own brother-in-law, Georgia, at the same time is chosen a national visual image, "the Kodak Bikini Girl" advertising one of the nations best know family products. A personal roller coaster ride follows this professional success, through pesonal trajedies, and internal soul-searching over a 33 year course to success and happiness.
Georgia is a real life "girl next door", the one "boys next door" want as our life-long friends, " sensitive, motivated, caring, real life-seasoned with a message to us and to our daughters.
Geogia's life is riddled with circumstances beyond her control.
"Sound familiar, readers?"
She narrowly survives them all with scars and wisdom to move on.
Ever been in an abusive relationship? Want to get out and live your life as you need it to be? Georgia shows you how and how to feel good about yourself in putting your past behind you.
Georgia describes and early allure to life-in-the-fast lane as it really is and how it crashes time and time again around a young woman ill-prepared to be manipulated by a male dominated world of high pressure and illicit profits, no matter whom was hurt or betrayed in the process.
Explit at every turn, Georgia persevers and preserves her sensitive nature from fleeing the "lets go to bed photographers" hired by other corporate clients, to being hung upside down by her ankles outside a high-rise appartment by a viscious companion to" show how much he cared for her, and couldn't live without her". Getting the picutre, readers? Any of you in the same abusive situation?
Georgia has experienced it all, first hand, and sheds the facade of just being attractive ( you don't have to be pretty to be abused )to describe to anyone in a dangerous relationshop how to escape (even if all you have is 25 cents and a 20 year old chevy!)
Ever had a gun held to your head by a an abusive mate? the cylinder spun and trigger pulled repeatedly? So you would promise not to leave HIM? Georgia has. Now 33 years later, she is well prepared to share with you how to remove yourself from unbelievable hardship to success and happines.
Georgia bears her soul to reveal her own bad choices for the reader to aviod. She preserves her will to live and live for herself and her children through tough decisions. Starting over....starting over....starting over.
Though drawn into an early life of high rollers and hollow glamor, she adjsuts her life decisions to rise to the top of her profession...and this book guides readers through her bad choices and how to avoid them.....by example....the next time around.
If you belive you have only one life to live and want he best from that life.......
THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS is not the "artifically polished style" of professional editors and novelists, but a realistic look of one lady who has "been there" , escaped and will tell YOU how to get out.
Written from the heart of a lady who cares and is willing to share her own mistakes to help you avoid your own.
READ THIS BOOK AND SAVE YOUR OWN LIFE ........................
OR...... THE LIFE OF SOMEONE YOU LOVE.
on July 17, 2002
This journal-like book is just that, an inside look into Georgia Durante's world. From her tough childhood to marrying into the Mob, Georgia completely surrenders herself to the reader. In The Company She Keeps, Georgia meets Sammy and falls into the Mafia, turning into the get-away driver. Later in life, this skillful driving is put to the test as she starts her own stunt driving company.
Throughout this book, you find yourself saying outloud, "I can't believe she got away alive." Georgia survives guns, rape, and finally her Mafia husband. She presents incredible insight that every human being can relate to, but many never talk about. We all want love, affection, money, and adventure. Unfortunately, these characteristics are sometimes found in dangerous people who lead mysterious lives. This story is truly amazing!
The most appealing part of the book is the style in which it is written. Georgia writes vivid dialogue which makes the reader feel as if they are in the room. She has the ability as an accomplished writer to make the reader feel compelled by words on a page. Admiriation comes to mind when I think about Georgia Durante. Disregard misspelled words and focus on the courage it must of took for her to stare at her life mistakes on paper. There are not many women who have walked in Georgia's shoes and lived to tell about it.
The question asked time and time again by the reader is, "Why did she keep going back?" The Company She Keeps is not just for abused women, but all women who long for understanding of themselves and relationships they possess with other men. As a woman who has been abused, I have come to terms with my past through the help of this book. This book validated my feelings about myself and conflicts I've had to face in my relationships with men. It is extremely difficult to accomplish this type of strong connection between an author and reader, especially for this being Georgia's first novel. After reading Georgia's tale of triumph over sorrow, you can't help but feel like you know her.
Through all of the trials and tribulations, Georiga kept her eyes on the road to survival, for herself and her children. To escape the Mafia and FBI, Georgia escapes to California with her daughter Toni and later finds herself in another failed marriage and another child.
Perseverance should be her middle name. She is a soldier that marches on to the beat of her own drum. Georgia's war story is definetly worth reading, over and over again.
on July 14, 2002
Throughout reading Georgia Durante's book, many things become apparent, though one point becomes paramount; There's a different side of life that out there and anyone can fall under its spell.
Regardless of one's potential or one's hopes and dreams, there's a side that most of Americans have an affection for....maybe even an affinity for. Sure, there's a large population that would say they have no attraction to the other side....or as it's more widely known...the mafia. But on the whole, interest in that way of life has drawn many into it....and often, through love, honor and respect.
It's no secret that women are attracted to the men that live that life. I'm not sure what the reason is, or if there's a specific word or definition for it, but they just do.
Women more beautiful than Georgia...and less attractive, have been drawn to men connected to the Cosa Nostra. Sure....it could be the constant stream of money that seems to flow from these mens pockets, but mostly it's the adventure. And it was that reason that Georgia found herself, on more than a few occasions, in love with the men she chose....or as the title says, with The Company She Keeps.
Everyone needs to start somewhere, and this is Georgia's first novel. She had a story inside of her to tell, and she told it the best way she could....in her own words. It may not be War And Peace or The Grapes Of Wrath, but then it wasn't meant to be.
In this day and age the public wants to read something they can relate to, stories that hold the interest of their short-attention-span, and they want something they feel they can be a part of, if they too had the opportunity....and that's exactly what Georgia's book does. To look at a misspelled word here or there within its covers isn't just foolish, but nit-picking something that most surely isn't the reason or fault of the
writer....especially a first-time writer who simply had a story to tell....and told it. Any print, grammatical or story errors are the fault of the editor and publisher....not the author.
Several times within these pages Georgia isn't afraid to admit her mistakes....sometimes her often repeated mistakes. We all have our faults, and rarely are we smart enough not to make the same ones two or more times before we learn our lessons. The author's revelations become apparent as the story goes on....sure she's beautiful with a fantastic modeling career, sure she could have had any man she wanted....and many of them wanted her....but within all of us there's a desire to find
the person the fire inside us burns for....and Georgia's personal fire was fanned by those from the wrong side of the law. Is she any different than women attracted to politicians or corporate bigwigs? Power, money, influence....is there a difference between Georgia and Hillary Clinton? To be attracted to men who have affairs, men who live lives of public and private lies, men who have the ability to have people clandestinely and covertly assassinated just by giving the word.
Because the men in her book are considered criminals instead of politicians....she cannot be looked upon as a lessor person, just someone who chose a life somewhat different than what we were taught in school we should each attempt to achieve.
And with time came her true schooling. By the end of the book we learn that she's now learned that it's best to distance herself from those who could bring her down. She now stands on her own feet....with the wisdom to not deal with those that she once admired. She's working on making her own life work with what remains of her past life....her children. Once again, she's not afraid to admit her faults and the things she hasn't done right and the things she's learned from her mistakes....and what
she's trying to do to right them. Even after she successfully started and operates one of California's most respected stunt driving companies, she knows that she still needs to grow as a parent and a person.
The Company She Keeps is a novel that should be read by women who have made the same mistake over and over in any arena of life. It's a story that should be read by anyone interested in the dark side of the mob to learn that's it's not always a
success story of the "good" bad guys.
The author should be applauded for making her confession a public issue, not simply because she needs to see her story in print....but because there's a story here that most people live....and aren't smart enough to see the errors of their ways until it's too late.
Good job, Georgia!
on July 11, 2002
I usually don't read autobiographies. They tend to be the author's monument to themselves. You usually get more honesty from a politician up for re-election. This book is the biggest exception to that rule anyone will ever come across.
Ms. Durante, which I call her out of respect for what she survived and the fact that she has shared her life, gives hope to women who are in a hell of a life with an abuser. Nobody should have to face what Ms. Durante had to face and truth be told nobody is required to relive it. That's why this book is such an important contribution. It shows a woman that there's always hope. If a abusive man reads this book, they'll hopefully see themself in the creep that Ms. Durante had to deal with and hopefully straighten themselves out.
Don't let the book jacket fool you like it did me. There are stories about life in the Mafia and what that scene is all about. The main heat of this book is survival. Ms. Durante shares her challenges to survive as well as some mistakes that she made. The happy ending has already been written about in some of the other reviews. The path Ms. Durante takes to get there is where the life lessons are.
For all the credit that people like Phil McGraw and Barbara DeAngelis get for the writing they do, their effectiveness pales in comparison to what Ms. Durante's book will mean to everyone who reads it. The big word in the land of mental support the last few years has been "empowerment." If you want to learn what empowerment really is, then READ THIS BOOK!
on July 11, 2002
Georgia Durante's book is the kind of book that many Hollywood screenwriters WISH they could invent. The difference being is that Ms. Durante's book is true. If one looks beneath the surface assessment that it is just another "mob tell-all" book, one will find a graphic portrayal of a very real and very shameful problem which is epidemic in our society: spousal abuse.
Certainly Ms. Durante might be accused by some as being self-serving and self-promoting, but that is an all too easy and convenient way of one using hindsight in looking at her life. What is amazing is that when the light of realization and truth finally illuminates the reality of what Ms. Durante was going through, Ms. Durante turns her life around to become not only a successful businesswoman, but also gives her time and energy to fighting spousal abuse through appearances, lectures, and fundraising events. Hardly the act of a self-serving, self-promoting individual!! It was through such a lecture that a friend of mine attended that brought Ms. Durante's book to my attention.
What comes through the narration of this book is a gritty, graphic portrayal of spousal abuse which occurs every day in our society. It doesn't matter that the background is about the "mob". This problem occurs in too many communities and Ms. Durante's book is a testament to this social epidemic. All the more reason to put this book on film. At least, in this case, Ms. Durante, can say, "This is my story!". Too many women who were killed through spousal abuse cannot.
Are there flaws in the book? The only ones I could see were typos that a proofreader could have corrected. What grabbed me from the start was the cast of characters in and out of Georgia's life. While reading the book, I kept casting different actors and actresses to portray all of the people who had a part in her life. There is nothing Hollywood would have to do in order to make this book more interesting. There is drama, fear, joy, sorrow, and, of course, violence throughout its pages. If anything, the book may leave a reader wondering, "When is this woman going to get a normal life?". The events are real, the people are real, and with the exception of someone in deep denial or living on another planet, there can be no one reading this book who could deny that these events take place all too often and our male-dominated society (by the way, I am a male) just looks the other way. For those who hold Ms. Durante to being self-serving, let them come to the same judgment should this occur to a female member of their family or to any other female they know who has suffered abuse at the hands of a spouse.
If this book ever gets any attention from Hollywood, it would do a great deal in raising the consciousness of many to the horrors of spousal abuse. My suggestion to anybody in the film industry who reads it is to put it in the hands of a female director and screenwriter. There is a gold mine of material in "The Company She Keeps" and the film of it, as the book does presently, could do a great social service in stopping spousal abuse. Do yourself a favor and buy this book, read it, then pass it along to someone else. For women reading this review, PLEASE read it, pass it on to your daughters, and include it in a list for your book groups. It's too important a book to neglect.