Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Boston Girl (Review & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: The Boston Girl

Author:  Anita Diamant
Publisher:  Scribner
Published Date: 9th December 2014
Rating: 4 stars
 
*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*

Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, comes an unforgettable novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a 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 naïve 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.

Review: I am going to be honest and say that this is a book for people who like either character driven novels or who might like memoirs. Not for those who are driven by a plot!

The book is told as an old lady talking to her grandchild and telling her about her life. Because of this it becomes a historical fiction which was intriguing for me to learn about. We got to see a lot of different moments in the past such as WWI, the great depression, the flu breakout. It was much more fun to learn about these times in a novel, and I think this book and it also focused on the way it affected people emotionally and the country on a large scale. I liked that.

There wasn’t too much of a plot here because it was a story of someone’s life. But I did find myself intrigued and falling in love with the characters. I loved Addie, the main character most of all. She was a fierce and independent girl who wanted to please everyone but also wanted to please herself. She had rubbish taste in men and was also a feminist way before her time – which caused a lot of problems for her. I thought she was a very strong character. But I found myself loving Betty, her older sister who quickly was up to date with all the modern happenings before the rest of her family. She was loyal, independent and also a force of nature that was hard to reckon with.

But one of the best things about this book was that all the secondary characters had me loving them too. Levine with his generosity and kindness, Gussie with her set ways, Irene with her no nonsense and Filomena with her friendship. I have never had so many secondary characters that I could appreciate together!

Religion did play a fair share in this novel. Before you get scared away, it isn’t preachy or anything! It was more so showing how it was sometimes hard to adapt with the Jewish ways into America, and how they had to cope with being considered as “different” because of what they believed in. One person who couldn’t adapt was Addie’s mother, and this was brought across very well in her role.

This book had themes of friendship, a nice romantic battle to finding the right man, had death in it and also a message of love being worth living. I loved every moment of it and hope others can as well!

Giveaway Time: Enter to win one in two hardcover copies of the novel! Only open to US.

GIVEAWAY!

Olivia’s Question: Did you ever move to another country and find it hard to adapt?

Olivia-Savannah x

30 comments:

  1. Not a memoir-type person so I am not sure about this one.

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    1. Ah - I did know this one wasn't for everyone! But it's good that you know what you want from what you don't.

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  2. Hi Olivia - I have read a couple of memoirs that I really loved but for the most part, I like my books to have a plot. The synopsis makes this book very appealing, though. Thanks for your review! As always, it's awesome! :)

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    1. I do understand what you mean! Although this book had a lot of themes I am not too sure about plot.

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  3. Yay, cast of secondary characters sounds great

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    1. They were! I love when secondary characters are great.

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  4. Definitely don't mind a memoir type character driven stories.I rather like join coming of age stories. You should give A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher. It starts off slow but builds into a gripping suspense small town whodunit.

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    1. I think you might like this one as well then! I will check out the one you mentioned; it sounds like my kind of thing.

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  5. I love character driven books and the cover got my attention straightaway. Is this literary fiction? Because it looks like it. Anyways, great review! And I've never moved to another country. I've been to a few but the longer I stayed was a month and it wasn't really hard to adapt to ^^

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    1. It is literary fiction :D Staying a month is a pretty long time, and it seems like perhaps it wasn't too far from your culture type then. :)

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  6. My maternal grandmother was born in Brooklyn in 1898, I believe. Her mother (my great-grandmother) was Swiss, my own mother was also born in Switzerland and I was born in PA. Seems we keep crossing the ocean in between generations. I would like to read this book.

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    1. Oh wow, it seems like you have a lot of history tied into this novels time period as well. I hope you like it for that reason and that you can feel the ties from your family in it as well.

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  7. I've never been out of the country so no.

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    1. Aww, I hope you do get the chance to travel at some point!

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  8. No, I have never moved to another country but I would have loved to have had that experience.

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  9. I have not moved to another country, but I have friends who have. Their can be quite an adjustment.

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    1. Yes, sometimes a lot of things have to change, especially when most people speak a foreign language!

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  10. YAY, I'm excited you found a book that you enjoyed. This doesn't sound like my usual cup of tea, I love the sound of strong characters, but nevertheless I'm happy you liked it.
    Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. I definitely needed this after reading so many bad books in a row!

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  11. No, I've never moved to another country. My husband and I have often dreamed of moving to Ireland, though. It seems so quiet and calm there.

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    1. Ireland does seem like a beautiful and calm place. I would love to visit someday myself :3

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  12. nope, haven't moved to another country - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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    1. It's not for everyone, but maybe you will in the future!

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  13. I have never moved to another country.

    motioncitycutie(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. It's always still a possibility, although a lot of people like staying where they are!

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  14. Yes, I'm an American that grew up in Japan. When I moved to the United States when I was 19, I found it very difficult to adapt.

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    1. Those are two very different cultures, so I can understand how that would be difficult. I do hope you were able to settle in fine in time, though :)

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