Welcome to my stop on the Bittersweet Brooklyn by Thelma Adams blog tour sponsored by Suzy Approved Blog Tours and thank you to Suzy for the invitation!

My Thoughts:

Late one evening, Thelma Lorber arrives at her brother’s hangout. There she finds Louis “Pretty” Amberg, a mobster, covered in blood on the floor. Instead of running, Thelma stands by her older brother, Abie.

Thelma is the youngest, most devoted sister. Abie is the doting brother. Thelma is a widow with a young son, and Abie is all she has to anchor her. 

Bittersweet Brooklyn is an ambitious family saga taking place over years of Thelma’s life. It’s a look at how the mob affected the women who weren’t on the “front lines,” but were most definitely left to hold the family together. 

The story is dark and full of emotion, and the sense of time and place is exceptional. We quickly learn some of those who came to United States in search of a better life found it just as hard, if not harder, to live here as immigrants. 

The burdens the characters carry are family-centered strife and mental health challenges not that different than what many are facing today. The men would go out and tear everything up, and the women were left to put it all back together again and be the glue that held the family together. 

Overall, this important book shines a light on a dark time in our nation’s history with a focus on strong women. Thelma is hard as nails and comes on hard to overcome any adversity in front of her. The writing is vivid and brilliant, and I simply adored this story. 

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. 


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., she remains beside the fierce, funny brother who has nurtured and protected her since childhood. There are many kinds of love a woman can feel for a man, but few compare to that of the baby sister for her older brother. For Thelma, a wild widow tethered to a young son, Abie is the center of her world. But that love is about to undo everything she holds dear…

Flipping the familiar script of The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and The Godfather, Bittersweet Brooklyn explores the shattering impact of mob violence on the women expected to mop up the mess. Winding its way over decades, this haunting family saga plunges readers into a dangerous past—revealed through the perspective of a forgotten yet vibrant woman.

Have you read Bittersweet Brooklyn, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR