Bittersweet Brooklyn by Thelma Adams

Bittersweet Brooklyn

In turn-of-the century New York, a mobster rises—and his favorite sister struggles between loyalty and life itself. How far will she go when he commits murder?After midnight, Thelma Lorber enters her brother Abie’s hangout under the Williamsburg Bridge, finding Jewish mobster Louis “Pretty” Amberg in a puddle of blood on the kitchen floor. She could flee. Instead, in the dark hours of that October 1935 night before the dawn of Murder, Inc...

Details Bittersweet Brooklyn

TitleBittersweet Brooklyn
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literature, 20th Century

Reviews Bittersweet Brooklyn

  • Rebecca Rosenberg
    Bittersweet Brooklyn rips open the raw emotions of a Brooklyn family during WWII that deals with death, poverty, estrangement, lack of love. When the father dies, the Jewish family is left to fend for themselves, distraught and bone-poor. The mother descends into abject misery, leaving the oldest daughter to raise the family. While the children face the orphanage, and complete rejection, they grow older, looking for the very aspects they missed i...
  • Camille Maio
    Bittersweet Brooklyn is gripping from Page one. An intimate look at the dynamics of a broken family in gangster-riddled New York, it will have you rooting for protagonist and antagonist alike as wounds are open, healed, scarred, and exposed. With some of the finest dialogue I've ever come across, this is one I will not soon forget.
  • Sally Koslow
    Bookies! Bubbes! Bossy big-mouths! Thelma Adams’ Bittersweet Brooklyn takes you back to an early twentieth century Williamsburg teeming not with too-cool-for-school Millennials, but rough-and-tumble Jewish and Italian immigrants. You’ll race through this raucous historical saga, admiring its gritty detail and street-smart dialogue. Thelma Adams brings to life an unforgettable family ruled by filial love, yet divided by biting dysfunction.
  • BookGypsy
    A haunting family saga told fromThelma, the youngest. This story is gritty, gangster filled and emotional. At times it was so closely related to my own family it left me wounded and shedding a tear. A family ripped apart at the seems and many of the issues that Jewish and Italian immigrants faced. A truly remarkable story that you won't forget. The writing is brilliant and so vivid it literally breathes. Hauntingly Beautiful. A great book club se...
  • Literary Soirée
    BITTERSWEET BROOKLYN takes the reader into the heart of gangster-controlled New York during the 1920s and ‘30s, in this fully absorbing tale about Thelma Lorber, a woman thrust into mobster life through her beloved older brother’s involvement. She’s faced with the ultimate struggle when he commits murder. As a widow with a young son, she has much on the line in this engaging novel that exposes the impact of mob violence on women. Immerses y...
  • Tammy
    If you love big family sagas, Bittersweet Brooklyn fits the bill! Thelma Adams beautiful writing made me feel as thought I had taken a step back in time to 1920’s Brooklyn. At times, I didn’t like the main character, Thelma, because of her selfishness. But the author did a wonderful job of creating a sympathetic, hard as nails character who fought her way through the adversities of her life and circumstances. Excellent!!
  • Laurie
    This was one amazingly detailed novel! The setting is Brooklyn, New York in the 1920's and 1930's. Families were struggling during this time. Thelma is a young Jewish girl who lives in a poor dysfunctional family. She craves attention and love. Her brother Abie understands his sister, but he is not around much. Abie is taking care of "business" to survive.Thelma continues at all costs, to look for that affection as a young girl and then as she gr...
  • Noreen
    I loved the time frame and the author did a really good job with character development but I really struggled with liking the characters of this family. There was such dislike and outright hate displayed for Thelma and her brothers by her Mother and older sister that I had a hard time enjoying the book.
  • Jane Healey
    In Thelma Adam’s riveting story BITTERSWEET BROOKLYN, Thelma Lorber, the sister of notorious gangster Abie Lorber, struggles to survive within the hardscrabble Italian and Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn in the 1920s and 30s, and the dysfunction of her wretched home life. This is a gorgeously written and gritty American immigrant tale about broken homes and broken hearts, and how the sins within a family can reverberate across generations.
  • Leanna Mattea
    What to say about this story, it certainly packs a wallop! It had everything you want in a great book. Complicated characters that you like or disliked a lot. A dysfunctional family like none you’ve ever encountered, with nothing to give to each other. Certainly love was missing, with Thelma growing up, begging for affection from her mother and sister Annie. Annie, a horrible person, committing her own brothers to an orphanage, and withholding ...
  • Denise
    An emotionally charged, absorbing read that will grip you from beginning to end. A gut-punch of the human condition.A narrative that takes you to a place in the early twentieth century, New York, where the gangsters control and dysfunction creeps into every crevice available as it swirls around and clutches the lives of one particularly broken family, The Lorbers. Grit, rejection, misery, hostility and resentment are ever so present as love and h...
  • Jodie
    I struggled with this book a bit - at first I felt sorry for Thelma because even as a baby she had no one to love her and take care of her. Her mother and her sister were outwardly hostile and cruel to her. Her brothers cared for her, but they weren't around much. As Thelma got older and became an adult I wanted her to stop letting her past dictate her future, but she seemed to be stuck in this mode of letting others decide her future and choosin...
  • Tiffany Foskey
    This is my first Thelma Adams novel and it blew me away!!!!!! I love how she developed the characters. They are written in a way that burst with personality. This pulled me in from the first page and didn't let go until I finished. Thelma is a young girl who craves love and attention. Her brother Abie understands her but he isn't around much. He us doing what he had to to survive in the streets of Brooklyn where the mob rule. Then comes the day w...
  • Kathleen Gray
    A interesting novel that looks at an unexplored aspect of 1930s gangsters- the Jewish women who love them. Abie Lorber is ruthless but he does love his sister Thelma, who was basically thrown away by her mother and older sister Annie. Thelma has to deal with the impact of Abie's actions in the community. Adams has done a good job in creating an atmospheric character driven historical novel. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. You might not like all ...
  • Tina
    Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and I had high hopes for this story; however, I just didn't find that connection I was looking for in any of the characters. The story itself is well-developed, but the disgust that Annie and even the mother had for Thelma, Abie and Louis made it difficult to enjoy the story.Because this story was so well-developed, I would certainly check out future books by this author.
  • Michele
    This book was a very difficult and different read for me. It is a very sad and emotional journey for a family filled with hatred, love and resentment. At times I almost didn’t want to finish this book due to the sadness of this book. I wouldn’t recommend or tell someone not to read this book because it is in a category of its own. Thank you netgalley for letting me give an honest review of this book.