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Reviewed by Teresa Syms for Readers' Favorite
Boychik is a historical novel written by Laurie Boris. The reader is introduced to Boychik, aka Eli, the son of a deli-owner in New York who dreams of a life as a playwright for Jack Warner in Hollywood. One day by chance, Eli meets Evelyn Rosenstein, the daughter of a man caught up in the mob dealings of 1932, when she walks into the deli and asks for an egg cream. Eli is captivated by Evelyn and her beauty. Since her father’s rise in ‘business,’ the Rosensteins have moved up into a finer life which includes servants. Evelyn misses her old neighborhood and the people therein. She wants to serve and help those less fortunate, but her parents demand she play her role. A role that will eventually transform her into a mob boss's wife when she marries the despicable Harold. Without knowing what will happen, Evelyn tries to escape her life, so she runs to the only place she feels safe; Eli’s family deli, known for its exceptional corned beef and pickles. The deli becomes a target for the mob as Harold retaliates for Evelyn’s behavior. Evelyn and Eli are caught in a tangled web of the mob, their Jewish families, and wanting to fulfill their dreams. Will Evelyn escape the rope of marriage tightening around her neck? Will Eli get to Hollywood to become a playwright? Will the two act on their feelings for one another? Time will tell in this great novel.
Laurie Boris’ novel, Boychik, even though it is written as a work of fiction, can also be seen as a non-fiction work of art. The reader can take a step back in time and truly feel the fear, tension, and panic people must have felt during this gangster time of history. I believe Boris has captured life in New York in the 1930s perfectly, where mobs, gangs, and corrupt police run their own rackets and control everything. The author has created such powerful characters, the reader will visualize each one with their unique descriptions. For example, Evelyn’s eyes are seen as big, dark, and a place Eli can get lost in. Evelyn falls for Eli/Boychik’s kindness and innocence. The reader will also feel the tension, fear, and drama in this book. The plot Boris has created is one that will hold the reader’s attention until the end. I found it difficult to put the book down. I needed to know what happened next, if Eli and Evelyn will escape New York and live their dreams, or will Evelyn be forced into a marriage with the disgusting mob-son, Harold? Read this amazing novel to find out.