This story is so compelling because it really captures a place and time, and it's a very interesting place and time - Brooklyn, NY in the 1970s. The characters are great, really well drawn personas that jump off the page in three dimensions, and embody the elements of that moment in history - the ethnicities, egos, ethos, and environment that ripple with texture and depth. You can feel the struggle and striving of the characters at a critical juncture in their life, with the era's issues - socio-economic, racial, moral, and individual. The characters are both larger than life and highly relatable, stereotypes and completely recognizable, and always intriguing. And finally, the story is just plain funny and dramatic, full of heart and a pleasure to read because it is simply and finely written. Bravo Ms. Rommelmann!