The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

The-boston-girl-anita-diamantI don’t know how it is possible that i’ve made it this far into life without having read Anita Diamant, but I have. It may be precisely because The Red Tent was so popular, that I never read it. So when I saw that she has a new book out, The Boston Girl, I thought, now is my time to read Diament without any preconceived conceptions.

The Boston Girl reads very much like a memoir and I know that it’s supposed to have the feel. The problem is, I have an incurable aversion to first person narratives. Sometimes, I can get past it, but this was not one of those times.

That being said, the social history contained within the pages of The Boston Girl was fascinating. The book recounts the life of Addie Baum, a very intelligent and independent Jewish woman growing up in the early 20th century. While Addie is not so different from someone like me, the times in which she lived, and the restrictions placed upon women, were very different. Rebellion, sexism, class and race all still exist today, but The Boston Girl did allow me to reflect on how far we’ve come in some ways, and how little things have changed in other ways.

Who would like this book? Seeing as I have never read Diamant before, I do not know whether or not her fans will like this book. I can, however, recommend it to those who are interested in women’s social history. In fact, the book is very much set up to feel like you are sitting down, talking to your grandmother and that’s what it feels like. Diamant is a staple of women’s book clubs, and i think this book would be very suitable and provide lots of discussion in such a venue.

I received a copy of this book for review consideration from the publisher via NetGalley.


  1. I have never read any of her books, either, although I have The Red Tent on my shelf. This book sounds worth reading just for the social history. I will probably try to get to The Red Tent first, though.

  2. I actually haven’t heard of Diamant before now (blame it on my being pretty new to lit fic), but I’ve been really curious about this book. Sorry it wasn’t quite your cup of tea, but I usually really like first-person narration — except, oddly, in The Martian, which I picked up a few days ago and put down after just a few pages. I might see if my library has this.

  3. “I don’t know how it is possible that i’ve made it this far into life without having read Anita Diamant, but I have.” I haven’t read anything by her either even though The Red Tent has been recommended to me time and time again. Great review, I might read this one first.

  4. Even though I am, like Leah, FAR TOO YOUNG to remember the Red Tent, somehow I’ve actually read it and loved it! But even more I loved Day After Night – it was one of those ‘ this won’t be my kind of book’ which turns out to be exactly my kind of book! As I read your review I had that déjà vu feel of instinctively thinking ‘probably not for me’ – and I’m probably wrong!

  5. I haven’t read Diamant before, either, but I’ve gone back and forth over reading this. I keep hearing different things and I have a sense that I’d feel close to you. I imagine I’d find the social history fascinating, but would be looking for a little more in the narrative.

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