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Publisher's Summary

In Boston’s North End, four immigrant women leave childhood behind - but never one another.

For four young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End in the early 1900s, escaping tradition doesn’t come easy. But at least they have one another and the Saturday Evening Girls Club, a social pottery-making group offering respite from their hectic home lives - and hope for a better future.

Ambitious Caprice dreams of opening her own hat shop, which clashes with the expectations of her Sicilian-born parents. Brilliant Ada secretly takes college classes despite the disapproval of her Russian Jewish father. Stunning Maria could marry anyone yet guards her heart to avoid the fate of her Italian Catholic mother, broken down by an alcoholic husband. And shy Thea is torn between asserting herself and embracing an antiquated Jewish tradition.

The friends face family clashes and romantic entanglements, career struggles and cultural prejudice. But through their unfailing bond, forged through their weekly gathering, they’ll draw strength - and the courage to transform their immigrant stories into the American lives of their dreams.

©2017 Jane Healey (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Saturday Evening Girls Club

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Tale of Four Immigrant Girls in Boston

Based on a true story at the beginning of the 1900s in Boston, The Saturday Evening Girls Club, is an absolutely amazing tale about four young immigrant women who became the closest of friends, accomplishing unheard of achievements. When I first started listening, I didn’t realize that it was modeled after real women. After looking it up and learning that the pottery that they worked at was the Paul Revere Pottery in Boston and was open until 1942, I became even more interested in their story. To this day the pottery is extremely collectible and sought after. The girls who came from poor immigrant families and different religious backgrounds, were inseparable. And they often disagreed . . . Yet they loved one another fiercely. Balking often at the ways from “the old country” which their families tried to force upon them, each girl individually had to decide what path they would take . . . i.e. marry the man that their parents had chosen for her . . . stop going to school to become a wife and mother . . . give up her dreams of becoming a milliner and shop owner . . . In other cases, the demon the girls were fighting were within . . . marry a scoundrel, a cheat to avoid the poverty that she grew up in or walk away . . . and what about love? Could a girl have both love and an education? These four girls grappled with decisions that most women wouldn’t begin to contemplate until the 1970s . . . and they did it together . . . Jewish, Catholic, Russian, Italian . . . yet fast friends. Working, going to school, and helping support large families at home . . . maneuvering through a quagmire of obstacles that modern women would throw their hand up at. I loved these girls, their mentors, and their Saturday Evening Girls Club. And Caprice’s mother, oh, my!!! What a wise woman she was! From the outside looking in, one would believe that Caprice’s father ruled the roost . . . my hat is off to that woman! Don’t miss this amazing, beautiful story!

6 people found this helpful

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Pure Enjoyment of Ambitious Young Immigrant Women 1908-1909

If you enjoy Adriana Trigiani's novels of Italian culture, you will enjoy this! Listening to this narrator was a real pleasure. I consider it an improvement on the printed page, so that's high praise!
Boston's North End in 1908-09 is the setting for this very enjoyable story about four young women and their families. Italian and Jewish immigrant families are looked down on by society at that time, and the women suffer employment and other prejudices. Their hopes and dreams are encouraged, and their lives enriched by The Saturday Evening Girls Club, founded by a few charitable society women. The main characters, now twenty, have been a part of the club since they were thirteen, and have become very close. While the plot is driven by their educational and professional ambitions, their romances and plans for marriage (or not to marry) weave all their individual stories more tightly together. In this great story, the author has combined well-developed, likable characters in a historical setting that shows social, racial, and sexual equality of that time.

2 people found this helpful

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A Sweet Story

I enjoyed this gently told story about young women growing up as first generation immigrants in early 1900s Boston. The focus of the story was centered on hope and changing the old and familiar ways of living. With the support of the club and a collection of generous society ladies the girls lives were transformed.

The story was very positive, for me almost a bit too positive. At times, I thought it was a little too rose colored glasses and overly smooth and easy in the way things worked out. In reality, life for young women at the time was difficult and no matter how hard they worked not everyone had such success.

That said, this book was an upbeat story which nicely captured the historic feeling of the time.

18 people found this helpful

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The Saturday Evening Girls Club

Thai was a great book! All the characters were so loving except one. It’s so nice to see a small poor town work together to help each other grow into fine young ladies.

1 person found this helpful

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A Happy Historical Read

I was disappointed when The Saturday Evening Girls Club came to an end. I didn't want to leave Caprice and friends, women who lived in a time where people socialized in person instead of via the technology of today's world. Their lives seemed richer and fuller than women of this century who have so much more. Plus they wore hats. I don't know why everyone stopped wearing hats and wish they'd make a comeback soon.

5 people found this helpful

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Could NOT finish!

I tried I really tried listening and trying to get into "The Saturday Evening Girls Club" but it was NOT a novel from the year 1908! Okay I'm petty, but if an author is using a certain year they better do some research and this author didn't! She didn't research pay scale for a woman in 1908. She didn't research when the 1st car was invented, and last, which bothered me so much..look at this cover..the cover of the book...does it say 1908!!!

It was good in the beginning until I also realized the POV was coming from one of the girls? There are 4 girls and 1 was the POV..this author needs to re write this again..especially when a girls is getting married and says "I heard (with tears in her voice...my words) about the marriage night...boohoo...WHERE DOES IT GO? WHERE DOES IT COME OUT?" Obviously trying to ask about sex, but it just didn't read right...

I do not like this book, I couldn't even finish it and I hate when I can't recommend a book audible or not...not worth it.

11 people found this helpful

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Interesting and sweet story

3.5/5: This was a sweet, simple story that held my interest for the most part. It gives a glimpse of life in the early 1900's for four young, immigrant women. They each walk a line of adapting American ways while holding onto traditions of their families. Each of the four women's characters were developed fairly well. You also get a glimpse into how important the Saturday Evening Girls Club (SEG) was to each of them. I also liked that each chapter began with an Italian or Jewish proverb (the two main people groups represented in the main characters). Worth reading.

3 people found this helpful

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A feel good story.

An enjoyable book with an interesting story line. It shed light on a much simpler time and some old fashion traditions

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To the Saturday Evening Girls

What a charming book! Loved the romance, cultural references, and historical references. Halfway through the book I learned that the Club, the founders, even the pottery shop were real. Really enjoyed . Cent anno.

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Enjoyable characters and encouraging story

I enjoyed the placement of the characters in the early 1900s with an emphasis on the power of friendship and family. Especially enjoyed the transition through 2nd generation immigrant families/young women finding their way from the ‘old ways’ to new options and opportunities.

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  • Mrs J Gault
  • 01-25-20

an easy listen

I thoroughly enjoyed the 4 main characters, I laughed and willed them on. they showed true personality traits of young people, determined, stubborn, kind and niave