The Bookworm Sez: A lot of appeal in ‘The Boss’

The Bookworm Sez: A lot of appeal in ‘The Boss’

Somebody needs to call the shots.

Leading by committee may seem equal, right? Everybody should have a voice, but there has to be a head honcho in the mix somewhere. Somebody has to make decisions and stand up, to lead with a big heart, a cool head, an open mind and, in “The Boss” by Aya de León, a solid backbone.

For Tyesha Couvillier, it should have been the best day of her life.

Newly graduated from Columbia with a degree in public health, she’d just landed a job as executive director of the Maria de la Vega Community Health Clinic, focusing on the well-being of New York ’s sex workers. It was a job she’d had her eye on for years, and she should have been celebrating.

Instead, there was nothing but drama: her older sister, Jenisse, was in town with her drug-dealing boyfriend and two teenage daughters. Not that Jenisse did anything specific; just her being in town aggravated Tyesha.

It didn’t help that Tyesha’s friend, Lily, was having trouble, too: she was a dancer at the One-Eyed King, a club that was forcing its strippers to do things they didn’t want to do and one girl almost got hurt. Lily had learned that a Ukrainian mob was behind the new rules, and so she’d turned to the Clinic — and Tyesha — for help.

So much drama — and yet, it was just what Tyesha needed. Her life was uninspiring, but going to bat for the strippers was something she could totally get into. She understood their plight: in another life, Tyesha had been a dancer/escort, too.

She had also helped run a little heist ring with her friend, Marisol, but that work was behind them both. Tyesha was respectable now; a professional with access to legal information who could help New York ’s dancers form a union.

If only her love life was as clear as her work project.

Tyesha had dated rapper Thug Woofer for awhile, but he kept blowing every chance she gave him to get it right. Now Tinder wasn’t cutting it and one-night stands were no good. Really, could any man handle a relationship with a strong woman like her?

While I do have to say that it’s quite far-fetched, “The Boss” is so, in a good way.

Pure escapism is what author Aya de León offers here with a story that actually has many separate plots — romance, family drama, a little espionage, and surprisingly righteous feminism — all of them appealing. Part of that appeal is with the character: de Leon’s Tyesha is smart but vulnerable and even though her story is over-the-top, she’s not. Real or imagined, every reader will be able to find a little of herself there, which makes this a doubly fun novel to enjoy.

This is an adult book all the way, complete with language and situations that are not for kids. Keep that in mind, and if you’re looking for a great summer escape, “The Boss” is just the shot you need.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Email her at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

More in Life

The procedure for this quick kimchi is much less labor-intensive than the traditional whole head method, and takes less time to ferment, making it ideal for first time kimchi-makers. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Garden fail — but kitchen win nonetheless

This quick kimchi technique is less labor-intensive than the traditional method

Kate Lochridge stands by one of her paintings for a pop-up show of her work on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by MIchael Armstrong/Homer News)
Pop-up exhibit shows culmination of art-science residency

The exhibit by Kate Lochridge came about after her internship this summer as a National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration Ernest S. Hollings Scholar and Artist in Residence

File
Minister’s Message: The power of small beginnings

Tiny accomplishments lead to mighty successes in all areas of life

A copy of “Once Upon the Kenai: Stories from the People” rests against a desk inside the Peninsula Clarion’s offices on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Hidden history

‘Once Upon the Kenai’ tells the story behind the peninsula’s landmarks and people

Artwork by Graham Dale hangs at the Kenai Art Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. These pieces are part of the “Sites Unseen” exhibition. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Apart and together

‘Sites Unseen’ combines the work of husband and wife pair Graham Dane and Linda Infante Lyons

Homemade garlic naan is served with a meal of palak tofu, butter chicken, basmati rice and cucumber salad. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Naan for a crowd

When it comes to feeding a group, planning is key

P.F. “Frenchy” Vian poses with a cigar and some reading material, probably circa 1920, in an unspecified location. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 6

The many vital chapters in the story of Frenchy fell into place

File
Jesus, God of miracles, provides

When you are fishing or eating them, remember how Jesus of Nazareth used fish in some of his miracles

Sugar cookies are decorated with flowers of royal icing. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Blooming sugar cookies

These sugar cookies are perfectly soft and delicious, easy to make, and the dough can be made long in advance

File
Minister’s Message: What God wants you to know

Do you ever have those moments when you turn toward heaven and ask God, “What do You want with me?”

Eventually, all but one of Frenchy’s siblings would live for a time in the United States. Carlo Viani, pictured here in the early 1900s, also spent some time in Alaska. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 5

By many accounts, P.F. “Frenchy” Vian appears to have been at least an adequate game warden for Kenai