After enjoying The Red Tent, I was very excited to read another novel by Anita Diamont. Both stories include themes of feminism and strong female friendship but The Boston Girl was a totally different but enjoyable experience. Although it was slow to start, the conversational tone and strength of the main character Addie, kept me engaged and reading right through to the end.
The novel began with 85 year old, Jewish grandmother (Addie) being interviewed by her youngest grand-daughter and namesake. Addie described her early days, living in a tenement with her Mameh and father who had emigrated to the United States. Addie had been born in 1900 and life was not easy for Addie and her two sisters. School was not a priority, they had to work at a young age and to deal with Mameh who complained about everything and who never seemed happy.
As Addie grew, she had to quit school although she was bright, wanted to learn and had goals of becoming an independent woman. She spent time with the Saturday Club, a library group of single, likeminded women. Addie had a number of jobs and slowly continued her education. She eventually met the love of her life and shared that experience with her grand-daughter.
This book describes a proud Jewish woman, the beginnings of feminism and the strength of families. It shares some Jewish heritage and gives a historical perspective of the early 1900s including emigration, influence, war and the depression. It is another book that girls should read, sharing the experience of woman that came before us and making us realize that like Addie said “Don’t let anyone tell you things aren’t better than they used to be.”