I recently did something that I haven’t done in quite awhile. I read a physical book, rather than just downloading it on my Kindle. Why the change? I was asked to participate in a TLC Book Tour for Andrew Goldstein’s new book The Bookie’s Son.
Taking place in the Bronx, the book is based on Goldstein’s life as the son of a Jewish bookie in the 1960s. The main character is a young boy named Ricky, who’s mother works as a secretary in the theater industry, and his father flits between being a bookie on the side to try and pay back his debt to a Jewish (yes Jewish) mobster, and being a “cutter”, or one who cuts out ladies dress patterns. Both wish for a better life, but can’t seem to get the lucky break they need to make it happen. Their relationship is one of those volatile ones where they’d really be better off without each other, but yet thrive off of each other at the same time. And Ricky’s relationship with his parents is no better. His mother confides in him way too much, and his father wishes that his son was tougher than he is, which strains their relationship.
The main focus of the book is Ricky and his family trying to pay back their large debt to Nathan, the head of the Jewish mafia. It seems that whenever they take two steps forward, they ultimately wind up taking two steps back. And Nathan supposedly loves Ricky’s mom, and is giving it to them easy, but really, it doesn’t seem like it at all.
And where are these Jewish mobsters the book speaks of? I’ve never heard of one in my life!
This was a really good read, and I plowed through it in no time. It was also really cool reading about the Bronx in the 1960s, especially when areas I was familiar with were referenced. (And also because my mom basically grew up where it took place.)
Now on to the giveaway! To enter, simply comment with the title of the latest book you’ve read! (Or are reading.) This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will pick the winner using Random.org on Monday, September 17.
**The winner is Lindsay in NYC!**
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.