Behind the salacious headlines, Marty’s family paid a terrible price. In her shockingly honest, no-holds-barred memoir, Romola describes hanging out as a child in her father’s porn shops on 42nd Street and meeting the eclectic clientele who frequented the stores, making friends with the girls who performed live sex acts on stage, and spying on her parents’ sex orgies and crazy all-night swinger parties. Romola relates, in moving detail, how she cared for her three younger siblings when her brilliant, bipolar mother broke with reality, and how she survived verbal, physical, and emotional abuse; a year in reform school; her father’s three stints in prison; two kidnapping attempts by the mob (one while at summer fat camp); and how her baby brother, Jarrett, actually was briefly kidnapped by mobsters wanting to send Marty Hodas a clear, unambiguous message.
For all its darkness, The Princess of 42nd Street is, at its heart, an uplifting and inspirational story of how one young woman overcame incredible odds to become a successful businesswoman who now devotes her life to helping others. Raw, unflinching, and devoid of self-pity, The Princess of 42nd Street is a one-of-a-kind story.