THE D.A.'s FOREVER by Laura Pinto
What happens when four greasers from the '50s reunite in the '80s? Probably a better question would be: What DOESN'T? Set in New Jersey, THE D.A.'s FOREVER (no relation to the legal profession) takes the reader on a tantalizing journey back to two eras—the 1980s, when life, music and culture were undergoing a paradigm shift that would ultimately set the stage for the mores and lifestyles of today; and the 1950s (mainly in dialogue, flashbacks, and attitude) as seen through the eyes of the then-teenaged boys who wore leather jackets, combed their hair into ducktails, smoked cigarettes, drank liquor, drove cars, made out with girls, and epitomized "cool." Only, now, the formerly tight group of friends known as the D.A.'s in high school are no longer seventeen and eighteen, but approaching fifty. Geographically scattered throughout the Garden State, all of the guys have jobs, families, and responsibilities; and the last time all four of them had been together was a decade earlier. Now it's June of 1988, and the D.A.'s are convening at their old high school. Though they've attended other reunions in the past, this one—a special week-long celebration honoring the Fifties and taking place thirty years after graduation—proves to be quite different from the previous ones.
The novel begins with Eddy Steinberg preparing to drive two hours to meet with his old friends. He's filled with anticipation but quickly feels let down by the reality; he is stung by the seeming indifference demonstrated by his former comrades at the evening festivities, and he realizes how far apart the guys have drifted over the years. To begin with, the other dudes appear to be acting more like the teenagers they were than the adults they are. In addition to Eddy, the D.A.'s are comprised of Frankie D'Antonio, the founder and leader of the group, whose favorite pastimes seem to be getting drunk and getting laid (not necessarily in that order); Denny O'Reilly, Frankie's best friend and the only divorced member of the quartet, who's worried about his 20-year-old son's lack of success in the romance department; and Tony Franklin, Eddy's best friend, whose marriage and happiness are threatened by the reappearance of his high-school sweetheart. None of the wives are along for the ride, and there's a lot more going on behind closed doors—and out in the open—than Eddy is comfortable observing. Married to his high-school sweetheart and steadfastly faithful as a husband, Eddy had once acknowledged the other guys' extracurricular antics with slightly amused detachment; now, as he realizes the extent of it, he can only watch with thinly disguised disapproval as his cohorts bounce from one woman to another as casually as changing their underwear. To make matters worse, Eddy's heart is captured by a sweet, shy, 24-year-old girl, and for the first time in his married life he's facing a tangible temptation: The girl's quiet innocence and purity instantly transport Eddy back to his youth, a time when life was much less complicated, and it doesn't take long before his thoughts and emotions are in turmoil. Unbeknownst to Eddy, all of the other guys are facing issues of their own, and there are some surprising twists as the story develops.
THE D.A.’s FOREVER is a nostalgic tale of friendship and romance. It’s part comedy, part drama, part satire. It is by turns funny and touching. It’s raunchy and sexy at times; romantic and sentimental at others. It’s a story of friendship, of old love, of new love, and of a love that will never die. Most of all, it’s a coming-of-age story involving not youngsters, but four men who are all being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the present-day world where grownups live. NOTE: Mature content (sex and language); reader discretion advised.