|Simon & Schuster
After the death of her paternal aunt, Nicole returns to the town that gave her family its street cred but has taken away everything else. She was born to a family of gangsters in the Boston area whose affiliation with the Winter Hill Gang afforded them an amount of protection, money, and respect.
It’s in Boston that she reunites with her father and is reminded of why she left in the first place, but also why she returned. Though Nicole sees it as her responsibility to take care of those around her, as a writer, adjunct professor, and waitress, who rents out the second bedroom of her Harlem apartment on Airbnb to make ends meet, she can barely take care of herself.
If achieving the American Dream means alienating oneself from their community, Wonderland: A Tale of Hustling Hard and Breaking Even reminds us why the reality of “escaping poverty“ is more complex than the decisions of individuals, but also depends on the investment we make in our people to thrive together.