The Boston Girl
By Anita Diamant
Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9781439199367, August 2015, 336pp.
The Short of It:
This is a story about a young Jewish woman, trying to make a life for herself in Boston during a time when women were just beginning to forge careers for themselves.
The Rest of It:
Addie Baum lives with her family in Boston. As Jewish immigrants, her parents have trouble assimilating to the world around them and prefer to live with the “old ways” and beliefs that they’ve known all their lives. With three daughters, they believe that to be truly successful in life, they must marry well and marry young.
This doesn’t bode well for the Baum girls. Particularly Addie or her troubled older sister. As the three girls make their way through life, we are introduced to a host of supporting characters. All of them interesting but perhaps not all necessary to the story.
Let’s talk about the story a little. I found it to be well told but not terribly exciting. Oddly enough, I managed to read it in just a couple of sittings. It flowed well but it’s really all about Addie’s coming of age which as you can imagine, has some highs and lows. I liked the family dynamic and felt that the author portrayed an immigrant family well.
It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that Addie was telling her story to her grand-daughter until the final pages. I don’t usually care for devices like this but it seemed to work well here.
I haven’t read any stories about immigrant families in a long time so this was a nice change of pace. This was a book club pick but I had a family emergency and was not able to attend the meeting so I have no idea how the discussion went. I imagine it went well. Seems like potentially there would be plenty to discuss but I did feel as if the author was a little light-handed with some of the topics.
If I had to compare this book to Diamant’s other book (The Red Tent), I’d have to say that I enjoyed this one quite a bit more.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.