The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
The Boston Girl is the newest offering from local favorite Anita Diamant, author of the bestselling The Red Tent. Here, Diamant serves up another fascinating slice of historical fiction, her preferred genre.
In 1988, Addie Baum, born in 1900, has been asked by her granddaughter how she became the woman she is today. Through this simple and somewhat contrived but effective framing device, readers of The Boston Girl are treated to a tour of early-twentieth-century Boston through Addie’s eyes. Addie, spunky and intelligent, tells stories of growing up as a first-generation Jewish girl in Boston’s North End; of summer adventures at Rockport Lodge in Rockport, MA; of friendship, falling in love, and familial tribulations of her youth and young adulthood. The book is laid out in a straightforward fashion: Addie’s stories more than carry the narrative and are satisfying throughout.
We were lucky enough last month to welcome Ms. Diamant to speak here at the library. She addressed a crowd of 150 as she answered questions about the book and offered interesting facts about the history behind the fictional story, such as the background of the real Rockport Lodge, and of real conditions in the North End in the early 1900s. Diamant’s comments added more layers to Addie’s story. All in all, The Boston Girl is a mild, mostly sweet, yet still intriguing, inspiring and emotionally satisfying coming of age story that has massive appeal to many different kinds of readers.