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.
22 thoughts on “Review: The Boston Girl”
I have this one but haven’t tried it yet. Your review seems much more favorable than others I’ve read. Glad u liked it.
I liked the main character. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders.
Yes, the book was probable better than OK, not horrible, likable characters, some adventures, but I wouldn’t gush over it. I think we read it for book club but now I don’t remember why I read it…
SO, I wrote this comment and then rushed back to my blog to read my review. I liked it much better than I thought. 🙂
Yeah. I was surprised I liked it at all, to be honest. It’s not really my thing.
That’s the thing. It was good but not memorable, I guess. No WOW factor.
This is one of the selections for the FL library book discussion group I am considering joining for the winter. Sounds like I should give it a try…
My book club felt it was too light of a book to discuss. I wasn’t there but it was on the lighter side of what I expected it to be.
I love immigrant stories so think I’d like this one.
I think you would like this one quite a bit, actually.
I enjoyed this one, too, which kind of surprised me since it wasn’t a quick paced story. I thought she mixed the immigrant experience with the women’s movement of the time and the personal story very well.
It did seem pretty well balanced. To be honest, I was worried when I read what it was about but I ended up liking it.
Yea, I was sort of ‘meh’ about this one as well. It wasn’t bad by any means, I finished it easily. It didn’t rock my world either. It just didn’t evoke anything visceral, good or bad, which is actually notable in itself…
She played it safe with this one because there were lots of opportunities for her to dig a little deeper.
For some reason I have not read any of he books.
I haven’t read The Red Tent, or this one. Should I? But I did start A Little Life today – thanks for recommending it. Nice thoughts on this one ❤
I felt The Red Tent was great for discussion but I did not like it. This one, I liked, but not much to discuss and I can tell it won’t stick in my memory like many books I like. So, you can skip them.
But A Little Life. You might hate me a little bit for what it does to your gut but in the end I think you will forgive me.
The Red Tent is something that every one tells me I should read, but I think this one might be more up my alley.
I don’t see you reading The Red Tent. This one? Yes.
Better than the Red Tent? — that’s saying something. I thought that one was interesting & different. But I’m a bit on the fence about this one. Just sounds so-so. But who knows.
Better than The Red Tent but I didn’t care for The Red Tent so keep that in mind. I think most people agree this is an easy to read story but there’s not much meat to it.
I thought The Red Tent SO much better than this one. It was an easy read, like you said, but it left me rather ambivalent about the entire story.