Cookie Colangelo’s story unfolds in Yonkers, circa 1973. She has to work in a crummy job at a chain drug store. Her boss openly fondles Cookie and the other girls who work there. Cookie borrows money so her friend, who is poor, black and in an abusive relationship, can pay for an abortion. When she catches two young black girls shoplifting in Ghetto Square
, she becomes the unwitting catalyst for the eruption of a race riot and ends up getting fired from her job. In her struggle to survive, she makes many enemies: Toni Ferlinghetti, the Queen Bee of Italian Girls, Tony Amendolito, a local thug, and Mosella Moran, who carries a razor blade in her afro. After Cookie steals several hundred thousand dollars, the real fun begins. From Max’s Kansas City to the Upper East Side celebrity restaurant Elaine’s, Cookie Colangelo faces a grim reality—the world is rigged against everyone who is poor or from the working class.