The Boston Girl
by Anita Diamant
Why did you choose this book? the immigrant experient aspect
When did you read this book? April 2015
Who should read this book? readers of historical fiction
Source: library ebook
Here is a synopsis of The Boston Girl from Goodreads
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, comes an unforgettable coming-of-age novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century.
Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine - a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.
Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her "How did you get to be the woman you are today." She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.
Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Anita Diamant's previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.
I loved this one! The story is basically a monologue, with 85-year-old Addie telling the story of her life to her granddaughter. I loved Addie’s sense of humor and her perspective on the events of her life! I could hear her speaking in mind, and she sounded EXACTLY like my grandmother! My grandmother was born one year before Addie and was a child of immigrant parents, as was Addie. Unlike Addie, my grandmother was actually born ‘across the pond’ and ‘came over on the boat’ when she was about ten. But Addie’s voice was her voice!
I loved the entire story and found it hard to put down. But one thing I particularly liked was Addie’s ‘matter-of-fact’ telling of her story, without a lot of drama. This was not a romance. While Addie had obviously married, as she was telling this story to her granddaughter, her story was not a romance. Addie just kind of slipped in there that she met and married her husband; just another fact of her life.
I also enjoyed the perspective of life in this earlier time that I was given. Though there were historical events interspersed throughout Addie’s tale, they were not dealt with in depth, but just mentioned in passed as a way to give context to the events in Addie’s story. If you are looking for a history lesson, you won’t get it here, but you will get a feel for what life was for young woman in America in the early twentieth century. Enjoy!
You can find a reading group guide on the publisher’s website here. You can also view a video of the author introducing her book on the publisher’s site here.
My Rating: ★★★★1/2 4-1/2 Stars