The Boston Girl: A Novel
by Anita Diamant
Paperback- $9.98

New York Times bestseller!
An unforgettable novel about a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century, told ...

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  "Historically Interesting" by brnoze (see profile) 01/08/15

I liked it but didn\'t love it. Main character\'s life was interesting but not exciting,

 
  "Boston Girl" by myrnathurnher (see profile) 01/28/15

very realistic; reads more like a biography than a work of fiction. Heartwarming, familiar...I'd like to know Addie Baum.

 
  "The Boston Girl" by Carolynr (see profile) 02/01/15

I was disappointed in this book. Maybe because i spent the money to purchase the hard cover vs getting it fro the library. I loved the Red Tent. I did not think this book was of the same caliber. If you hadn't read the review o the book its wasn't very clear she was telling her story to her granddaughter..and I would have liked to see more of a 2 way dialogue between the two She really only concentrated on the very beginning of Addie;s life...what happened once she got married, had kids, how did her "career" do after that. A little too superficial for my taste. And that disappointed me because I thought the plot was wonderful. Having said all that, it rporably is a good book for a book club.

 
  "" by Djbg1 (see profile) 02/21/15

 
  "Easy beach read" by skinnyatlas (see profile) 02/23/15

A very hip grandmother tells the immigration story of her Jewish family. Fun if you know Boston and great look at how far women have come. Red tent lovers may be disappointed by lack of plot; this is memoir style.

 
  "" by lwardein (see profile) 02/24/15

 
  "" by Karenbrowntx (see profile) 02/25/15

 
  "Boston Girl" by deborahsigna (see profile) 03/04/15

This was an easy read, and I enjoyed the pace. Our book club had a lively discussion that at times went much deeper than the actual book. So they fact that it inspired conversation makes it a winner for me. However, the actual content of the book was very 'surface', with very little depth of character or actual events of the era.

 
  "" by Kjoyner7 (see profile) 03/04/15

 
  "It is a nostalgic picture of "Jewish Immigrant" life at the turn of the century!" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 03/12/15

Grandmother Addie Baum tells her compelling story to her grandchild, Ada, who is her namesake, though that was not widely known, at first, for reasons the reader will learn. The entire tale plays out as Addie reveals her deepest secrets with humor, honesty and nostalgia. She was born in 1900. The book ends in 1985. She has come a long way. My book was read by Linda Lavin who did a superb job with her portrayal. I could see her on the stage addressing the audience as if each and everyone was Ada.
Boston Girl presents a wonderfully accurate description of Jewish life, at the turn of the century, with an overbearing mother who is steeped in the traditions and superstitions of the times. The father often appeared gentler, but he truly ruled the roost. His home was his castle, and he had his throne. In my home, a chair was dedicated specifically for my dad. He was the breadwinner. No one would sit his chair. It belonged to him wherever it was, in the living room, the dining room, wherever. It was sacrosanct. However, both parents demanded unquestioned respect and obedience from their offspring.
When Addie was about 16, she came into her own and began to experience life. She had been extremely sheltered, like the Jewish girls of those times, and life was a bit of a surprise and sometimes a disappointment to her, as she learned more about how people interacted with each other and what was expected of her in the general public. Oh, how the times were different. Pre-marital sex was forbidden, dorms were single sex, curfews were in effect, and alcohol was prohibited, although speakeasies proliferated. Abortion was a crime; the girls who got caught were ridiculed, shamed and exiled. Pregnant teachers had to stop working, there were strict dress requirements in school and the workplace, fraternizing with anyone outside your culture, color, religion, and social status, was anathema. As she relates her little vignettes, Addie so clearly describes life then, that the reader finds he/she is there with her. The custom of eating Chinese food on Sunday or keeping a kosher home, mothers as masters of Jewish guilt and arranged marriages, were all a part of life in those days. Addie takes us through suffrage and the women’s rights movement, the war years, prohibition, the depression and the civil rights marches. She was a pioneer; she lived alone at a time when it was frowned upon. She was independent when independence was a fault in a woman. She was smart when women were supposed to be docile and unschooled. Addie was the forerunner of the modern woman. She was willing to step out there and take some risks.
The culture of the immigrant Jews, right down to their customs, prejudices, complaints, joys, sacrifices and ultimately, their appreciation for the opportunity afforded them in America, is presented clearly with Addie’s confession. The book will be very evocative for those of us who can identify with Addie’s past as she describes her escapades and the things that brought her both happiness and sorrow. The moral standards of the day were so different, the parental behavior and acceptable child’s behavior were polar opposites of the customs today. Permissiveness was a non-issue, although there will always be children who push the envelope and blaze the trail, regardless of the times.
Addie’s background was similar to my mother-in-law’s, right down to the horse and wagon, right down to the spiritual beliefs. My own mother often had the same backward notions as Addie’s mother, although my mother and my mother-in-law were younger and represented the next generation. Times changed slowly. Jewish women of the time may have seemed hard in their behavior toward their daughters, but actually, most were trying to protect them from a society that gave them few rights. They were the homemakers. Defiance was usually not a welcome option. Women were not educated; they were merely supposed to be compliant; they were, after all, the weaker sex at that time. The men were the earners. Religiously, they were ruled by their dogma and the male had the final say in all matters.
In addition to the culture, the history and development of the Jewish communities around Boston in places like Roxbury and Brookline, she touches on the history of some of Boston’s famous institutions like the launch of the swan boats in the public garden. Even the Red Sox were revered in the book. She took part in the development of social services for those less privileged. She witnessed the movement for equality among races and religions, children, women and men. She remembered the orphan trains in Minnesota, the flu epidemics and the loss of lives from war and disease from which there was no relief. Medicine had not advanced far enough to help those afflicted. She analyzed and exposed the development of the liberal policies in government that many Jewish people still support.
Addie lived through almost a century of massive change by the time the book ends, with technological advances like computers, antibiotics and jet planes, inventions that she could never have dreamed of as a young girl. Essentially, Addie was a self-made woman who remade herself whenever the opportunity or necessity presented itself, eventually obtaining an education and a career in many places. She was hard-working and ethical and succeeded because of her sense of responsibility and integrity. She took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves to her. She had a fantastic spirit, was a good friend, always offered a helping hand, and always looked at the bright side of things, moving forward, embracing life, even at the end, at 85, vowing to continue on. The reader would probably like to know someone like Addie, I know I would.

 
  "The Boston girl" by Grandmaboss (see profile) 03/13/15

Very ordinary. Well written but nothing exciting. I found no climax t the story, just a grandma talking to her granddaughter.

 
  "" by Thalls (see profile) 03/14/15

 
  "The Boston Girl was hit with our book club" by Juliehoffman (see profile) 03/17/15

We all enjoyed this book by Diamant so much, and the host for an upcoming book club chose Diamant\\\'s other book, The Red Tent, for her selection.
Addie Baum is a young woman ahead of her time. She decides very early in her life to surround herself with positive and ambitious women. Even though her parents provide little support for her dreams of getting an education, Addie persists with the help of her friends. She never gives up!

 
  "A woman to admire as well as laugh and cry with" by MichelleJMcIntyre (see profile) 03/18/15

The main character has an interesting time growing up in Boston in the early 1900s. It was an enjoyable read. Not too fluffy. Not to serious. I liked the history aspect of it.

 
  "Really a Young Adult book" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/31/15

We had mixed reviews in our club but all agreed that it truly is a young adult book particularly for those who know little about the immigrant experience in US cities. Most of our members agreed it was a pleasant read but lacked any depth and substance.

 
  "no surprises" by pamwhj (see profile) 03/31/15

The book is not exciting but it is sweet. If you are looking for a book that is deep, creative or one that you are unable to \\\"put down,\\\" this is not it. It tends to be somewhat simplistic in the way the author has chosen to tell Addie\\\'s story to her granddaughter

 
  "not much to learn from this one ..." by Mairpac (see profile) 04/22/15

I always hope to learn something new or at least be pulled in by a charactor or plot in any book. The Boston Girl does that for a little while and then just goes flat. I read it wouldn\\\'t say exactly don\\\'t read it but other books have a point .. I\\\'m not sure this one does.

 
  "" by juengel (see profile) 06/24/15

 
  "" by jeneff133 (see profile) 06/24/15

 
  "Issues for women living in the early 20th Century in the USA" by njwilson (see profile) 06/25/15

The Boston Girl deals with a number of issues that confronted women in the early 1900's (and beyond). The descriptions of how different women dealt with those issues is interesting, depending on individual personalities. Addie demonstrated a rebelliousness that helped her transition into a modern woman. Her mother was a force to be reckoned with and called Addie a "whore" for her decision to move away from the parental home before she was married. The stories of Addie and her siblings and friends are interesting and provide great insights to women's issues.

 
  "Interesting" by brenstuhr (see profile) 07/23/15

I enjoyed the book. Sweet story

 
  "The Boston Girl" by BetsyO58 (see profile) 07/31/15

A young granddaughter interviews her elderly grandmother about her life as a jewish immigrant growing up in Boston during the depression.

 
  "The Boston Girl" by Pcartier (see profile) 08/04/15

This was a very good look at the way immigrants in general and Jews and women in particular were treated in the early 20th century. It also was a revealing look at how children, especially daughters, of these immigrants were trying to break away from old traditions and join the modern world of the new country.

 
  "" by Wfsammons (see profile) 08/05/15

Informative and interesting description of another ethnic way of life and culture.

 
  "The Boston Girl" by Debkeen (see profile) 08/07/15

Slow-a nice narrative but not terribly interesting

 
  "" by Kerri123 (see profile) 08/11/15

 
  "" by catzpawz00 (see profile) 08/19/15

 
  "" by lmsimmsey (see profile) 09/10/15

 
  "The Boston Girl" by kurlage (see profile) 09/19/15

A lovely book. Quick read. Loved it as I am from Boston. Have recommended it to many friends.

 
  "Boston Girl" by LezlieSS (see profile) 09/29/15

Reads like a 15 year old girl\\\'s blog. A big disappointment after reading and loving The Red Tent by the same author.

 
  "" by dbfranzi (see profile) 09/29/15

 
  "Young Jewish Women in Early 20th Century" by Betty56 (see profile) 09/30/15

Addie Baum, 85, is asked by her granddaughter "How did you get to be the woman you are today?" This leads her to telling about her immigrant parents and sisters and her multicultural female friends growing up in Boston. Addie is somewhat rebellious, only because she is intrigued by a world that is unfamiliar to her parents. She dreams of things unheard of for women of that time, like college and a career. Humor goes a long way in her survival.

 
  "boston rocks" by amanda4633 (see profile) 10/10/15

this is a well written book, and lot of fun to read.

 
  "" by Sgoldstein (see profile) 10/15/15

 
  "The Boston Girl" by strachman (see profile) 10/25/15

Editor needs to review grammar rules more effectively.

 
  "The Boston Girl" by mrblock (see profile) 10/27/15

A granddaughter asks her grandmother how she became the woman she is. So begins the story that covers the life of Addie from 1915 to 1985. A nice way to read about history and life during that time period. Gives one a good review of the early changes in women's lives and the woman's movement. Change can be hard not just for the parents but for the children who are trying to become independent and progressive too. We can all relate to this story by looking back at our past and see all the changes both positive and negative that have occurred. We all enjoyed the book.

 
  "The Boston Girl" by sassyseventies (see profile) 10/27/15

Interesting narrative of a grandmother to her granddaughter who asked "how did you become the woman you are today?". Included historical insights into life for immigrants in the early 1900's and the differences in three sisters and where life's path takes them.

 
  "" by Readextensively (see profile) 10/27/15

 
  "The Boston Girl" by tina55 (see profile) 12/14/15

The book club enjoyed talking about group of individuals introduced in the book. We had a very good discussion about what women's life was in Boston at this time and as 3 of our members had lived in the area at different times we were able to discuss what the areas were like when they lived there.

 
  "Boston girl" by zoeypage12 (see profile) 12/18/15

Great story and interesting characters.

 
  "Great story" by Abby0814 (see profile) 01/06/16

Such an engaging author

 
  "Surprising" by nepola (see profile) 01/20/16

This book was an easy read and a nice story, but not one of the best, most memorable books we have read. What surprised us was that it lead to some really good discussions concerning a wide variety of topics.

 
  "" by Jeanette T (see profile) 01/20/16

 
  "An Easy Read" by carolkaskin (see profile) 02/19/16

The ladies all liked this book because of its engaging narrator whose spunk and honesty endeared her to the reader. The immigrant experience in the novel caused us to examine our own family's immigrant story and how it shaped our parents and grandparents.

 
  "Great book" by awr115 (see profile) 02/21/16

Everyone in our bookclub loved it. Great writing and character development . Takes place in the early 1900s - great historical fiction. Lots to discuss

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/04/16

 
  "Pretty flat" by chaggers (see profile) 03/16/16

Had a lot of potential but was really flat. Disappointing.

 
  "The Boston Girl" by Caroldeak (see profile) 03/17/16

Not my favorite book. The writing seemed a little adolescent although the subject and events the author described were interesting and thought provoking.

 
  "" by Abrinsko (see profile) 04/07/16

 
  "The Boston Girl" by dpongetti (see profile) 04/07/16

I found this book interesting from the first page. Historically it provided an informative story of life in Boston in the early 20th century from tenements to sweatshops and how the families did or did not adapt to America. Very well written.

 
  "The Boston Girl: A Novel" by cfoutz (see profile) 04/09/16

An easy read and true portrayal of the diversity of family members, their character, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes heartbreaking given the inflexibility of some personalities. Other times inspiring given the grit and fortuitousness of the heart.

 
  "" by nanovsky (see profile) 04/20/16

 
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  "" by jsvincent (see profile) 05/21/16

 
  "" by Sklotzz (see profile) 06/15/16

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/22/16

 
  "The Boston Girl" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/28/16

My book club was disappointed with this book as they expected something with more depth from Anita Diamant, especially after reading the Red Tent. The premise of the book is a grandmother telling her life story to her granddaughter. This is done as a monologue, hearing only the voice of the grandmother. By telling her story, Addie shares the conditions immigrants to America endured and how society's views changed from 1915 through 1985.

 
  "" by eckelstafer (see profile) 08/17/16

 
  "The Boston Girl" by Bak8382 (see profile) 09/06/16

Addie Baum's life is chronicled from her birth in 1900 in the tenements of Boston through her journey to her 85th birthday. She's influenced early on by the Saturday Club she joins, and those friendships last a lifetime.

This is a quick read that seems only to superficially touch on the issues of the day. The author has said in interviews that she uncovered a lot of information while researching and it shows here. Most interesting to me was how much was it was based on real information. Rockport Lodge was a real place for girls to vacation, the Saturday Club and its activities were real, and even two of the characters were based on real people. I would love to read a nonfiction book on many of the subjects in this book.

 
  "The Boston girl" by jackr (see profile) 09/28/16

Interesting but slow. Good insight into the life of that era. Easy to read.

 
  "" by dezertgirl (see profile) 09/29/16

 
  "A light historical read" by KaraS (see profile) 01/13/17

While I had high hopes for this this story is a light, easy read. I think she tried to pack too much into the life of Addie. If the author had selected one or two dramatic events in Addie's life and really added depth it would have made a better read.

 
  "" by lynnephillips (see profile) 01/14/17

 
  "" by kschelberg (see profile) 02/19/17

 
  "" by penelopeh1 (see profile) 06/30/17

 
  "" by Diane4640 (see profile) 07/14/17

 
  "The Boston Girl: A Novel" by smitley11 (see profile) 07/15/17

Took me back to Boston for a few hours. A great story about an immigrant family transitioning to America but maintaining their basic culture and instincts. Success for some and surviving and not surviving for others

 
  "The Boston Girl" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/22/17

This was a great look into what it was like for an immigrant family in Boston in the early 20th century.

 
  "" by jarmor9 (see profile) 09/12/17

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/29/17

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/23/17

 
  "The Boston Girl" by arizonamom (see profile) 10/25/17

There were many things happening in the early 1920s which lent to our discussion; child labor, the influenza pandemic, WW1 and women's place in the working force, to name a few.

 
  "" by suchbussey (see profile) 11/16/17

 
  "" by jensueadam (see profile) 02/03/18

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/10/18

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/20/18

 
  "An intimate look at the daily life of a young Jewish woman in the 1930s" by Joyfulisa (see profile) 03/20/18

I actually listened to this book on audio, read by actress Linda Lavin. For me, her accent and reading style made the story and characters come to life. That said, it is truly a story of a woman's daily life in Boston: growing up, finding and losing loves, mixing with non-Jews, family drama, and becoming self-possessed against the wishes of intolerant parents. Although there are a few dramatic turns, nothing major happens. It is a loving reflection of a life well lived without major "events" taking place. Other book club mates found it dull and lifeless. I really enjoyed the reading (and recommend listening to it for full effect), but when it was over I didn't feel a longing for more. It was just pleasantly satisfying.

 
  "" by vernandglen (see profile) 05/17/18

 
  "" by Duttons (see profile) 06/15/18

 
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  "Another hit by this author " by lpollinger (see profile) 01/30/19

Addie Baum is 85 years old and telling her life's story to her granddaughter Ava for a school project. The way the story is written the characters really come to life and you can picture where they are at that moment. It is wonderful to see the changes, and how she handles them from 1915 - 1985.

 
  "" by megfitz16 (see profile) 02/21/19

 
  "" by arbode93 (see profile) 02/21/19

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/24/19

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/24/19

Wish it would have gone into more depth on the characters and storyline

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/25/19

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/01/19

 
  "" by sircricket (see profile) 07/14/19

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/07/19

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