Cover Image: The Boston Girl

The Boston Girl

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Member Reviews

A great immigrant story will introduce the reader to Jewish immigrants in the United States.  The first person narrative brought the imagery alive as Addie told of the anti-Semitism she encountered.
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It was an engaging tale at first sight.
This is exactly the kind of story I usually like but I found something was lacking here.
I did not feel much emotion while the novel try and did broached heavy subjects, for some reason, it just missed the mark.

What it because it was narrated by the author’s aging character, a bit « à la titanic » but without a grand story.

Not saying nothing is happening, lots of drama and life moves forward moments who are true and reflective of an era but again, except for the narrator telling us once in a while what date we are, I did not find this novel taking advanges of the times it was set. 
WWI, flu epidemy, Great Depression are experienced by the main character mostly as a background element without any lasting connection made.

Now I understand it was the everyday life during those events that was the point/base of the novel but it just gives the impression of being really disconnected.
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I greatly enjoyed the voice of this book. The atmosphere was spot on and the relationships between the characters beautifully complex and explored with purpose. The plot was interesting and drew the reader in to the time period. And overall accomplished and interesting read.
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I picked up Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl as an in-between read, you know, one of those titles you crack open to ‘cleanse the palate’ between heavier fare? I was in the market for something light and it looked like it’d fit the bill so I pulled it up on my kindle and dug in. I’d no expectations and had no prior experience with the author’s work, so I was a surprised as anyone when the novel swept me clean off my feet. 

The book is written in the first person and as a result, feels intensely intimidate. Addie is an irresistibly candid character with a sparkling sense of humor and her earnest account of her life experiences grant the novel a unique degree of emotional depth. I read historic fiction for the history, but even I can’t deny that the emotional elements of the story are what set The Boston Girl apart.

Thematically the book has a lot going on and I admire how it explores immigration as a long-term prospect with implications that ripple across generations. Addie grows up in family environment that is rooted in old world traditions, but the multicultural neighborhood of Boston’s North End has an influence all its own. Addie is a product of both and I think the novel invites understanding of what that experience really means for those who live it. 

Heartfelt and emotive, The Boston Girl isn’t to be missed. A beautiful and highly recommended read.
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When asked  "How did you get to be the woman you are today?" by her granddaughter, 85 year old Addie Baum recalls her life growing up in Boston as the youngest and only American born child of immigrant parents. 

I will tell you now, there is nothing profound here, no point to the story, no moral, so if this is what you are looking for, you will not find it here. But if you enjoy a good life story, particularly an immigrant story during the WWII era, this is for you, and there is an added bonus of the story being told by a funny and fiesty Yiddish grandmother.  I laughed, I cried, and reminisced about my own immigrant family. I think we often forget that our elderly were once young and vibrant as well. 

Anita Diamant has a way with words. I cannot wait to read her other stories.
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