Book Club -The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

the boston girl
May Book Club choice was The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant, even though it broke our rule of only choosing books available in paperback. The hardcover copy was cheaper than the Kindle version, which is great for me as I still prefer a tangible book.

Description from author’s website.

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 –at the time a teeming multicultural neighborhood—Addie’s intelligence and curiosity lead 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.

Robin: Diamant’s previous book, The Red Tent, was a great read. To my disappointment I was not as thrilled with The Boston Girl. Although it has been years since I read the first book, I don’t remember the style. I have grown as a reader and writer, so maybe I’m just harsh in my current reviews. The story starts off as a grandmother telling her life story to her granddaughter. Okay, I had actually originally started Imperfecta this way (later cut). But it continues in the “memoir” or “interview” style, which I find much less engaging than jumping into the story. I never lost touch of the “narrator,” something I don’t like in fiction. I want to become the character in the story, to feel her pain, her growth, and see myself in her. That doesn’t happen when the story is “once removed” through the use of narration. Of course the writing is perfect and there are no glitches in the story and I did enjoy learning about the history of Boston. But there were no surprises, no dramatic points, no extremes of emotional. So I have to say this was a “ho hum” kind of story for me. Rate: 1.5 stars

Gloria: The Boston Girl, was not the kind of story I expected from Anita Diamant. I expected a historical novel not a memoir.  I enjoyed the novel but there was nothing new in the story that I haven’t heard in many other books by many other authors.  I rank it a 2.5

Connie: I got ninety percent through, but to be honest it didn’t change much. It was more like “dear diary” than a story with no rising action, conflict or falling action. She would uncover things and then it never went anywhere. I hit the point when I was ninety percent through the story and felt “it’s never going to go anywhere.” If it’s going to be a grandmother telling about her life make it more like Wallace Stegner’s “Angle of Repose”, where you were so engaged with the man telling the story. Rate 1.0

Paula: There were parts I enjoyed because I find immigrants interesting. The mothers-it seems no matter what country they are from-every one is forced to deal with them. There is usually a not-very-nice mother. It’s interesting when reading immigrant stories how children in the family cope differently. In this story the children were very different. I thought the stories about the camp were light weight and frivolous, I didn’t enjoy that part. I’m glad I read the book, she’s an accomplished writer, well, she puts herself in a position of being an accomplished writer. Rate 3.0.

Cindy: It was okay, I was indifferent. Didn’t love it or hate it. I can’t even remember the story except it was a grandmother telling her granddaughter things 2.0



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