The Heart of Yonkers

From the edge of the Hudson River, we travel with fifteen year old Cookie Colangelo into The Heart of Yonkers. Cookie has been slow to mature sexually. When her sexual awakening does occur, it’s a huge explosion, all-consuming and emotionally powerful. She desperately wants a boyfriend but will not settle for a Yonkers guy. Then she meets Stanley di Falco and falls hard. This Vietnam War Vet has recently returned home. Stanley is vulnerable and trying to come to terms with his own humanity. While Cookie does everything in her power to seduce him, her age is an obstacle to consummating the relationship. Throughout this story, the presence of the river is a brilliant metaphor providing context for unforgettable characters. Meet Jimmy the Midget who owns the Midget Bar on top of hardscrabble Nodine Hill. This popular watering hole is a refuge for working stiffs to drown themselves in the drinkand to get solace from a midget who possesses uncanny insight into people. As a ruse to get close to Stanley de Falco, Cookie befriends his mother Bertha Sokól, who is a refugee and survivor of the slaughter at Nowy Targ in Poland. Many characters from the first Yonkers book are back too. They’re older but are they wiser? Black B-boy dancer Herman Lynch and his grandmother Mable Kerry continue to be the ballast in Cookie’s unstable world. Cookie’s parents are stranger and funnier than ever. The Queen Bee of Italian girls Toni Ferlinghetti embarks on a new reign of terror. Ultimately, The Heart of Yonkers is about kissing…well, learning how to kiss, or maybe, it’s about much more than kissing. 


Patricia Vaccarino
Publication Year: 
Modus Operandi Books