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Loved it! 😍

Boris captures an amazing snapshot of life in 1930's Brooklyn, with a forbidden, doomed romance to boot

Evelyn and Eli are like-minded souls, but from opposing worlds in 1930's Brooklyn. Either by fate (a theme throughout the book) or their sheer magnetism, they bump into each other repeatedly in a short period of time. Evelyn's visits start to become more intentional, however, creating a great deal of danger for both of them - from Evelyn's dad and fiancé, who are both in the mob. Ultimately, they both have to decide whether the risks their relationship pose are worth it.

I thought the tone and style of Boris's writing really fit the setting, and loved all the details specific to 1930's Brooklyn - which seemed well-researched. The actions and speech of the characters also seemed appropriate for the setting, creating a whole picture of Evelyn and Eli's lives. As a historical fiction lover, I consider this very enjoyable.

The maturity levels of Evelyn and Eli were more accurate to their ages than portrayals of teenagers often are. At first I actually thought they were reading too young for their ages, but I quickly realized my argument would be based on other fiction but not real life. Most of this involved what often felt like poor decision-making, which I know can be hard to take - especially in large amounts. But it wasn't poor decision-making purely for the sake of desperately creating conflict.

These poor decisions had well-established emotion behind them the reader could connect with, and it is often the other conflicts they face that push them together. Furthermore, it is closer to reality to depict teenagers that make bad decisions, especially when love and stress are involved. So I'd advise you to not turn away from this one just because of the poor decision-making!

The book's tone didn't reflect the bleakness of 1930's Brooklyn, but both narrators were in pretty comfortable positions for the time, even if they were worlds apart. Since it was so accurate in most other ways it would've improved the read, but that doesn't mean references to it aren't frequent. The reason this stands out is to Boris's credit: the immersion being so well-done and greatly aided by the tone make you expect this topic to reflect more in the tone. However, the tone is perfect for a powerful first love story.

I would recommend this to historical fiction lovers, and anyone that loves a coming-of-age romance!

Reviewed by

I fell in love with reading when I was eight years old, and after that it was hard to get my nose out of a book. I review a variety of genres, but gravitate most towards historical fiction. Nothing beats the excitement of a new adventure, and I love connecting others with theirs!

About the author

Laurie Boris has been writing fiction for almost thirty years and is the award-winning author of nine novels. When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she’s a freelance copyeditor and enjoys baseball, reading, and avoiding housework. view profile

Published on October 11, 2021

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Historical Fiction

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