Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Synopsis: "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."

Title: The Boston Girl
Series: N/A
Genre: historical fiction
Pages: 320
Ages: really anyone
My Rating: 4 stars
One Word: inspiring
Fave Quote: “When I look at my eighty-five-year-old face in the mirror today, I think, “You’re never going to look better than you do today, honey, so smile.” Whoever said a smile is the best face-lift was one smart woman" (189).

So a friend of mine gave me this book for my birthday, and after having finished my AP US History Test this past May, I thought it would be a great idea to read some historical fiction! It turns out that I absolutely loved it. I didn’t read the summary either, so it was a great surprise for me to learn about the Jewish lifestyle. Addie Baum’s journey through the early 1900s and then her “present” life during the 1980s is both heartbreaking and awestriking. I couldn’t help but love her crazy family and her affectionate personality. Some of Addie’s actions could have easily been my actions in real life, such as her naïve attitude towards guys and her need to continue her education although her family has limited amount of money. Towards the beginning of the book, Addie is very book-smart; however, she doesn’t make the best decisions and the reader can easily witness her transition from her ingenuous personality to a more understanding and helpful woman.

The only downfall for this novel was the fact that 85 year old Addie is supposedly telling the story to her granddaughter, and it is very unrealistic that she remembers every single detail. I wouldn’t have minded this because it is obviously a fictional story, but what was daunting was the fact that she says “I don’t really remember it too clearly” to certain random parts of the story which had me confused.

Clearly, though, it was simply fascinating to witness Addie Baum’s romantic, simplistic, and heart wrenching story and also learn many new things about the Jewish lifestyle and about the early 1900 lifestyle. I loved both the good and bad about the story.


No comments:

Post a Comment