Title: The Boston Girl
Author: Anita Diamant
256 pages, published December 9, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
I received this ebook from Netgalley. This is my honest review.
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.
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
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.
I love historical fiction, and this book was no exception. This book reminded me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn--although less wordy and about an immigrant, the coming of age story and the time frame are so similar. I loved Addie as a character--I admired her desire to learn and make something more of herself. The book was a bit slow moving at first and it took me a bit to get into it, but once I did it was hard to put down.
Naturally, I also loved Addie as a character because she too loved books and writing. In answering her granddaughter's question "How did you get to be the woman you are today?" Addie said "It all started in that library, in the reading club. That's where I started to be my own person." This book addressed so many issues--a woman's right to vote, the role of women in the workplace, WW1, The Great Depression, orphan trains, and child labor, just to name a few. This is why I love historical fiction--learning about these issues through the eyes of a character you connect with and relate to.
Diamant did a beautiful job with this book. I definitely recommend it for those who love historical fiction, particularly historical fiction set in the early 1900's. You will not be disappointed!
Overall rating for "The Boston Girl": A-