From the New York Times best-selling 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 20th 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 22-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 best sellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman's complicated life in 20th-century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.
©2014 Anita Diamant. All rights reserved. (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
I thought the narrator, Linda Lavin, did an excellent job. Her voice was very fitting.
It was a fascinating look through the life of an eighty-five year old Jewish grandmother describing her history, her world to her granddaughter. I could relate on many levels. This is a lovely, sentimental tale if not a little dull at times. It's not an exciting read/listen but it is interesting. I learned a lot and wished that my grandmother had sat down and told me everything about her life before she died. Perhaps I'll get this chance with my own granddaughter someday.
Absolutely, especially anyone who grew up with immigrant grandparents. It brought me back to my childhood, and I'm sure it will for other listeners who grew up similarly.
FIRE IN MY EARS by Susan Schneider, and ELIZABETH STREET by Laurie Fabiano. These two books tell immigrant stories as well and what life was like for them once they moved. They also cover how their emigration affected their future families.
Monotone. And. Dry.
While I do likeoLinda Lavin as an actress, I wasn't a fan of her narration in this book and would have preferred a more lively narrated. However I really loved the book and would like to listen to more stories like this.
The meeting of her husband
She made you a participant in the book. I was the granddaughter she was telling the story to.
No, It was the overall experience.
I love Anita Diamant but what makes this story so great is the narrator Linda Lavin. She's absolutely one of the best storytellers on audio. She makes this story come alive.
The main character narrating the story. She's a strong confident woman.
I had just read the red tent and thought to try something else by this author. I loved this - much more than the red tent - it was a great piece about a point in time where you really started to understand not only the first generation immigrant experience but a coming of age story mixed with it.
When she first gets out of Boston and goes to the ocean. You really feel how it must have been to experience something other than the grimy city for the first time.
I thought Linda Lavin's voice was perfect for this character. Sometimes there is somewhat of a mis-match but not here at all.
Say something about yourself!
This story was excellent beyond words. Linda Lavin's narration was supurb. I can't imagine any one else doing a more perfect reading of this beautiful story. 5 + Stars!!
Narrator was great. Story itself was a bit dry. This could have been anyone's grandmother recounting her life's tale. Nothing very exciting or poignant happened in my opinion. I did however thoroughly enjoy the perspective of the storytelling itself, a grandmother to a granddaughter. I kept listening because I was waiting for the climax, never arrived for me.
Those who are looking for Strong Women for validation purposes.
Maybe - have a reason for writing it?
Liked her narration.
This is a genre book - a book written for women who like to enter a dream world where all women are strong, independent, compassionate, loving, supportive, and men exist as props for the stories of the women. The female characters almost all demonstrate all the positive "female" qualities. There are only two flawed women: one dies early, and the other, the stereotypical Jewish mother, merely serves to show how noble our heroine really is by suffering silently. The rest are unanimously noble, creative, nurturing, etc etc etc. The men are paper cutouts. They are either Bad and pathetic - primarily because they don't demonstrate those "feminine" qualities - or they are Good because they devote their lives to adoring their women, children and the oppressed. All business people are bad, except the one who operates his business by giving his product away for free. Perhaps the most telling scene in the book is where the protagonist recalls her wedding and, while able to describe in detail all her female relative and friends who attend, is unable to recall the names of two the four men who held the chuppah.Apart from the blatant misandry that dominates the book, what really bothered me is that, to steal from Gertrude Stein, there's no there there. I kept waiting to find out why the book was written. What did this person do that was worthy of preserving in print? At the end of the day, nothing. A pedestrian life of little accomplishment who has lots of friends, all of whom are teachers, givers, creators - Ideal Women. She never met a normal human, so far as I can tell.This is a Harlequin romance in evening wear.
I didn't expect this to engage me as it did. I enjoyed the refreshing way she emerged from a dysfunctional home and I liked the glimpse into the lives of young women who were being nurtured and supported on their way to adulthood by a rising class of independent women who served as mentors and guides. Difficult topics were addressed in all their pain yet they didn't overwhelm the story. Totally surprised by how much I loved a glimpse into this world.
A beautifully crafted novel following an independent woman, her family, and her friends through the 20th century. At first I was put off by the narrator's accent/tone of voice, but the character wouldn't have been as authentic without it. I'm recommending it to my daughters and friends.
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