The Boston Girl
by Anita Diamant and Linda Lavin

Overview - From the "New York Times" bestselling 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 twentieth century.  Read more...

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More About The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant; Linda Lavin
From the "New York Times" bestselling 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 twentieth 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 twenty-two-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 naive 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 bestsellers, "The" "Boston Girl" is a moving portrait of one woman s complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world."

  • ISBN-13: 9781442380363
  • ISBN-10: 1442380365
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publish Date: December 2014
  • Page Count: 7

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Jewish

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-02-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

Actress Lavin, best known for her star role in the 1970s sitcom Alice, is an ideal narrator for Diamant’s portrait of Addie Baum, a turn-of-the-century girl born to immigrant parents in Boston. Set in the 1980s, the story is framed as an oral history in which Addie describes to her granddaughter her coming of age in the 1910s and 1920s. We journey through the immigrant experience, the joys of adolescent friendships and first romantic “assignations” (as Addie puts it), the sadness wrought by the 1918 influenza epidemic, and the struggles of pioneering women in the workplace. Lavin nails the notoriously difficult Boston accent as she brings Addie to life with marvelous wit and wisdom, showcasing the heroine’s innate playfulness as well as her gutsy perseverance. Lavin’s performance sparkles throughout. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect pairing of novel and narrator. A Scribner hardcover. (Dec.)

BookPage Reviews

Audio: Women and war

“In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.” The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah’s latest novel and a departure from her previous bestsellers, explores that powerful statement. Set in France during WWII, it’s told as an epic flashback by an elderly woman, one of two sisters, now urged into assisted care by her son. What unfolds is the story of these sisters. Vianne is a mild, loving wife and mother living in a Loire village as her husband goes off to fight, while Isabelle, 10 years younger, is bold, impetuous, rebellious, and has just been expelled from yet another school. In their very different ways, they must confront the horrors of the Nazi occupation. Isabelle joins the resistance, becoming a famous passeur, leading downed allied airmen to freedom. Vianne quietly begins to save Jewish children in her village from deportation and death. Hannah makes the war’s degradation and deprivation palpable and the valor of the sisters vivid, as does Polly Stone’s Gallic-glazed narration. 

Addie Baum, the irrepressibly feisty, endearing heroine of Anita Diamant’s novel, The Boston Girl, comes to vibrant life in Linda Lavin’s reading, with her pitch-perfect Boston-Jewish accent. Addie, now 85 and a doting grandmother, is more than willing to share her story, warts and all, with her youngest granddaughter. The first U.S.-born child of East European immigrants in 1900, Addie’s life is a mirror of the transformations that made the 20th century so exciting. Her parents, a constantly carping mother and a somewhat disengaged father, held hard to their old-world values, and didn’t understand a girl who wanted to go to high school and college. But Addie persevered and, step by unsteady step, built a life with meaning, found a man with whom she could share her liberal values and had both a career and a family. Diamant offers a heartwarming, but unsentimental, serenade to the immigrant experience.

John Grisham’s latest, Gray Mountain isn’t a whodunit or a traditional legal thriller. You know from the get-go that Big Coal, in collusion with politicians, judges, doctors and even some federal agencies, did it, does it and is determined to keep at it. “It” is the incredible devastation of Appalachia and of the miners and their families. Grisham has wrapped his impassioned advocacy for stopping Big Coal’s rape of the land and the rampant pollution and ruined lives that come as collateral damage in a fast-paced page-turner. It stars an attractive, smart, well-educated young lawyer who was on the fast track to making partner in a prestigious New York law firm—until the 2008 crash. Suddenly, without a salary or a shiny future, Samantha Kofer finds herself at the Mountain Legal Aid Clinic in Brady, Virginia, a very small town in the heart of Appalachia. And suddenly, she’s dealing with the victims of Big Coal’s greed and the crusading local lawyers dedicated to helping them, no matter what the risk. Catherine Taber’s performance makes Samantha, the good guys and the bad real and relevant.


This article was originally published in the February 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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