The boys in this book have to deal with antisemitism and homophobia, both internalized and external, in addition to the dybbuk possessing one of them and the murderer(s?) killing off Jewish boys around the Chicago World's Fair. The viciously queer and Jewish book I didn't realize I still needed.
“This story drew me in from line one! Historical fiction with a touch of fantasy and myth; a dark murder mystery combined with a haunting ghost story, with a sizzlingly sweet romance as the cherry on top, The City Beautiful is an unforgettable tale!”
— Marielle Orff, Towne Book Center & Cafe, Collegeville, PA
"An achingly rendered exploration of queer desire, grief, and the inexorable scars of the past." --Katy Rose Pool, author of There Will Come A Darkness
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical fantasy about a city, a boy, and the shadows of the past that bind them both together.
Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he'll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.
But when Alter's best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World's Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov's dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.
Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter's body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer--before the killer claims them next.
"Chillingly sinister, warmly familiar, and breathtakingly transportive, The City Beautiful is the haunting, queer Jewish historical thriller of my darkest dreams."--Dahlia Adler, creator of LGBTQreads and editor of That Way Madness Lies
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens 2021.