Book Review | Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Friday, May 20, 2016

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. (GoodReads)

The Boston Girl is about a Jewish girl coming of age. Addie retells her life story to her 22 year-old grand daughter. The novel is a collection of vignettes of different stages of her life.

The Boston Girl is beautifully and simply written. Addie's story could truly be any girl's story. My only problem with the story is that I did not feel deeply connected to any of the characters. I enjoyed them, but they might have been too simple. Addie herself did not move me completely and although I felt and related to her struggles, I often felt that she was keeping many things to herself. Maybe this was intentional, as the narration is being told to her granddaughter, but I did not particularly care for this and found it unnecessary.

Overall, The Boston Girl is a simple, yet beautiful read. I enjoyed the writing and I think this would make a perfect beach read.

Have you read this book? What did you think?


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