The Boston Girl tells the story of one woman’s life. She is both ordinary and extraordinary in the most spectacular ways.
The book begins with Ava asking her grandma, Addie Baum, how she became the woman she is today. Grandma Addie was born in 1900, but her story begins in 1915 and concludes at the time of this interview in 1985. This story takes us through the flu epidemic of 1918, World War I, Suffrage, and prohibition. It’s the story of an immigrant girl, her family, and her journey into adulthood.
Addie comes from a very old-school, old-world Jewish family, and navigates the toughest of social climates to finally become a wife, mother, author, and professor. She is a like a butterfly slowly escaping her cocoon (and her mother) in order to blossom into a very brave and modern woman.
I loved The Boston Girl by New York Times best-selling author, Anita Diamant. I’ve also read The Red Tent by this author, and enjoyed it too. When I saw this book come to our library, I was the first to grab it.
It’s the story we should all be writing – the story of sadness and triumph, courage, hard work, and determination. It is the story of our Grandmas.
I sat with my grandparents before they passed away and took a short oral history from them. I wish I had more. I wish I had listened to more of their stories, had encouraged them to remember.
I wish I had written the book of their lives.
Of course, The Boston Girl is a work of fiction; however, one staple of this story is the Rockport Lodge, a very real inn for low-income girls. On her blog, Anita Diamant tells the story of this lodge. She says the following, but please do click over and read her own words.
It had been founded in the early 1900s (1906 in fact) to provide inexpensive chaperoned holidays to city girls of modest means. The policy remained “women only” and the prices ridiculously low. In 1990 it was $35 a day including three meals for women earning less than $12,400.
I love that the lodge was her inspiration for this book!
If you’re looking for a heart-warming story that will suck you to another time from page one, please do read The Boston Girl.
What good books have you read lately?