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The Queens of Montague Street [Kindle Edition]

Nancy Rommelmann
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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  • Length: 25 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Journalist Nancy Rommelmann's memoir of growing up in Brooklyn Heights in the 1970s, and excerpted in the New York Times Magazine as the essay, "Dazed and Confused."

Editorial Reviews


Named a Top Ten of 2012 by who encapsulated the essay, "Memories of life as a truant teen in 1970s Brooklyn" and cited the following graph: 

"Most of the time we just hung out, in front of the newly opened Baskin-Robbins, on the corner of Montague and Henry Streets. This corner was the epicenter of Brooklyn Heights, a community unaccustomed to seeing its daughters straddling mailboxes and flicking cigarette butts into the street. Nor were we used to fielding the looks we began to get: wary, unhappy, every father coming home from Wall Street and every mother on her way to Key Food shooting us stern, silent reprimands. It made me squirm, but it also pissed me off: What was I doing that was so horrible? And if they had something to say, why didn't they say it? While our little petri dish of a neighborhood evidently considered hanging out anathema, I was on the fence; my dad had grown up in Greenwich Village, an Italian kid playing stickball and rolling tires in the Hudson River. Isn't this what teenagers did?"

About the Author

Nancy Rommelmann is a journalist whose work appears in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Magazine, the LA Weekly and other publications. She is the author of the novel The Bad Mother and Transportation: Stories. She is currently based in Portland, Oregon.

Product Details

  • File Size: 505 KB
  • Print Length: 25 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brooklyn Heights in a snapshot January 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nancy Rommelmann brings out the flavor of Brooklyn Heights in a down-to-earth, heartfelt snapshot of what it was like to grow up during a very special place and time. While it is not by any means a "flowers-and-hearts" look at life, it is very real, very compelling, and, at times, brutal in its honesty. Nancy shows a teenager's perspective of life while using very adult matter-of-factness and language. Anyone who has been honest in their teenage rebellion will relate.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, truly captures a place and time January 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shorter than I wanted it to be. May 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a resident of Brooklyn Heights I was drawn to the story to see my neighborhood through her eyes of 40 years ago.

I saw very little as it was more of a New Yorker length piece than a full memoir but I very much enjoyed what she wrote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You nailed it! November 19, 2013
By cdy4ddy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Holy smokes (stokes?) Nancy, I haven't thought about these characters in many a year (I won't say how many), and you brought them all rushing back, in living color, and as raw as can be. You captured that time and place in a most perfect way; many thanks. Can't wait to read some of your other work.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid and enjoyable read September 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
"The Queens of Montague Street" is a vivid read and it goes by all too fast. My one real complaint is that I wished it had been longer. Rommelmann is by trade and by temperament a journalist - many of her excellent non-fiction pieces are available on her website - and her she turns her detail-oriented and honest-if-it-kills-her eye to her own story. It's memoir as journalism.

Everyone has a story to tell about themselves, and it all comes down to how one goes about telling it. Rommelmann shows herself as she thought she was at the time, and as she sees herself now. She was a child of privilege who takes her teenage rebellion to the "mean streets," not realizing at the time how much of a tourist she was. She entered domains that seemed fraught with adventure, but understands now that she was experiencing things differently from those who had no choice to inhabit the lives they were living. At the end of things, a simple phone call puts her back into her old life - like Dorothy clicking her red shoes, or Lucy returning back through the Wardrobe.

One of the other reviewers criticized the work for being about a rich kid who saw "the lives of others that were very different" and felt like she was "a part of it." It's an odd criticism because this is the whole point of the piece. The self-dramatization of an adolescent and the remorseless judgement of the adult she has become. The piece is being criticized for accomplishing exactly what it set out to accomplish.

The immediacy of many of the moments is exciting, and the recall of detail so many years later is enviable, allowing you to feel you are as much in the moment as possible. This short piece is highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read February 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can imagine myself in Brooklyn, living in her shoes. A fun glimpse into BRK in some of the more interesting times.
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More About the Author

Nancy Rommelmann is a journalist and author. Her most recent ebook is DESTINATION GACY: A cross-country journey to shake the devil's hand, to be released in May 2014. She is previously the author of the novel THE BAD MOTHER (2011), THE QUEENS OF MONTAGUE STREET (2012), a memoir of growing up in Brooklyn Heights in the 1970s that was excerpted as a New York Times Magazine "Lives" column, and TRANSPORTATION, a collection of short fiction released in 2013.

Her features and reviews appear in the Wall Street Journal, the LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, Reason, Byliner and other publications.

She is currently at work on TO THE BRIDGE, the story of Amanda Stott-Smith, who threw her two young children from a bridge in 2009.

She lives in Portland, Oregon.



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