The Boston Girl, by Anita Diamant


Advised as a sequence of anecdotes from a Jewish grandmother, Addie Baum, to her granddaughter Ava, The Boston Woman is a coming-of-age story set within the early 1900s. Addie’s dad and mom have fled an unnamed nation in Europe, and Addie is the primary baby born in america. Her father and sister work in a sweatshop, and the household lives in a tenement. Addie’s dad and mom anticipate her to go away college after eighth grade and begin working.

Central to the story is the Rockport Lodge, which served as a kind of summer season camp or retreat for teenage ladies whose dad and mom had been poor immigrants. There, Addie makes lifelong associates and begins to comprehend that she may have a life extra expansive than toiling in a sweatshop, ready to get married.

Addie’s voice is pleasant: heat, down-to-earth, trustworthy, and generally humorous. Right here is the prelude to her first go to to Rockport Lodge:

The day I went to Rockport was my sixteenth birthday, July 10. I didn’t have quite a bit to do to prepare. I may put on nearly all the garments I owned and the remainder I stuffed into an previous pillowcase I purchased from a ragman’s cart for a couple of pennies. I left a observe in Celia’s shoe to say I used to be happening a trip with some good ladies I knew. I additionally left two {dollars}—all of my spending cash—although I knew it wouldn’t make any distinction to my mom. I put hen fats on the door hinges in order that they wouldn’t squeak within the morning. I used to be very happy with myself for pondering of that. (p. 25)

Addie struggles to interrupt free from her mom, who complains and scolds all day lengthy, and who disdains Addie’s desires and ambitions. Addie additionally endures tragedy throughout the 1918 flu epidemic, and will get entangled with all of the fallacious males (till she meets Ava’s grandfather, in fact).

A couple of sections of the novel sag when the main target shifts from Addie to her associates, however for probably the most half it is a very readable journey by the lifetime of a lady who was exceptional not essentially due to what she achieved, however as a result of she tried laborious to be true to herself within the face of stress from her household and society.

The photograph above, from Radliffe’s Schlesinger Library, reveals Diamant in entrance of the true Rockport Lodge.

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