Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book ~ "Blood Feud" (2012) Daniel Harris

From Daniel Harris ~ Blood Feud is a tale of the American dream gone awry, chronicling the rise of the fictional Galetti family and the vicious lawsuit that proves to be their undoing. Valued at $2 billion in annual sales, feared by its larger competitors and loved by its loyal customers, the Galetti Supermarket chain carves itself a comfortable niche in the food industry in the Boston region in the ’60s and ’70s. 

However, when one of the co-owners dies prematurely, deeply rooted family disagreements begin to erode the once-tight bonds holding the family-based corporate management together. The bonds are severed as old jealousies and mistrusts devolve into outright accusation and hatred, and the embittered widow sues the surviving brother and CEO for misappropriation of company profits. 

Russell Riley, company president, board member and lifelong family friend, narrates the tale and recounts the company’s meteoric rise to prominence and ignominious fall from grace. Caught in the middle of the warring branches of the family and torn between allegiances to both sides, Riley struggles to maintain stability in his life and in the company in the wake of the very bitter - and very public - legal battle.

Russ Riley started working at the Galetti Supermarket in Boston when he was thirteen.  Thirty years later, he is still there and has grown with the company and is now president.  When he started with them, it was a single supermarket run by Dominic.  Dominic's sons, Dom and Joe, joined the store and took over when Dominic retired.  Under their leadership, they opened more and more grocery stores, competing with the larger chains and succeeding.  It stayed a private company and each son and their families had 500 shares (so 1000 shares in total).

When Dom dies at a fairly young age, his widow, Maria, takes his place in the business and on the board of directors.  The business continues to grow even larger.  Suddenly Maria discovers that some of her shares have been sold to Joe (by Joe) and she takes him to court to get them back along with the lost earnings.   This obviously drives a wedge between the two once close families, each wanting Rush to pick a side.  It's not until the end that we find out the decision of the court.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.  I liked the writing style and I thought if flowed well.  It was an interesting story.  As a head's up, the language at times is for a mature reader.

It is told in first person perspective with Russ as the narrator.  He takes us back to when he started going to the supermarket in the 1960s and how he got attached to it and to Dominic, his mentor.  The story is brought to the future with the turmoil that is happening, with lots of history and details provided through flashbacks.

We get to know the characters well.  Russ is likeable and loyal, and has done well working for the Galettis.  He loves his job and the business.  He eventually gets married and has a family ... I liked his wife, Holly, and his mother, Claire, who he is close to.  Russ and Maria have a special bond, and he gets along well too with Trip, Dom's son, and Joey, Jr., Joe's son, who work for the business.  There has always been tension between Russ and Joe but for the most part they have been able to leave it in the boardroom.  He has some fun friends that he hangs out with.

I'd recommend this book.

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

This is one that my hubby would like.