Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Boston Girl: Book Review

The Boston Girl
by Anita Diamant

I read this a few weeks ago. I thought I posted, but realized I didn't.
Our book club read, The Boston Girl. I absolutely loved this one.
It is about feminism, Jewishness in the 1920's, and many more themes.

I have read a few novels by Anita Diamant. This one is her best, because it brings up social issues, and history for women in the 20th century. Just up my alley, history, women empowerment, etc.

 I think I liked it so much because it takes place in Boston. Where most of my family is from. There was so much I wanted to ask my grandparents about Boston when I was younger. The book seems to fill in the gaps of unanswered questions.

Since, I read this a few weeks ago. I can't remember everything. Instead I will give you a couple points about the novel.  This is a different type of narrative. Where the grandmother is telling the story about her life from her point of view. The Grand daughter is listening. You almost forget at times the book is told in the first person.
Ava, sweetheart, if you ask me to talk about how I got to be the woman, I am today, what do you think I'm going to say?
From the beginning of the novel, we learn about her family, Jewish immigrants. Betty, her sister the rebellious one. Celia, the soft spoken, and accident prone. Addie, between both of them.

They came to the US from Russia moving to the North End of Boston.  The unwillingness for immigrants to change their thinking. It was very difficult for  Ava, and her sisters of immigrant parents. Because, the children were influenced by the new american lifestyles of their American friends.

There is a part of history that I found was interesting. During the summers she would go to Rock Port, Mass, considered a vacation spot. In the early 20th Century, Rock port Lodge, was bought by many of the companies where the girls worked. The companies bought a hotel for their women workers that were not married. They were given a vacation to spend time in a hotel for $4.00 a day for clean sheets, and going to the beach etc.

Addie had to hide secrets from her family. Without her parent's knowledge she  would go to  meetings at the settlement house. Where she learned about suffrage. The people she met she became close, and became friends.She now had new influences and her horizons opened up with new experiences.  She  would get support from her friends. They were more supportive and mentor her, and give her guidance.  Where at home she was beaten down and put down constantly. She had a difficult relationship with her mother.

She learned about women empowerment,  such as going to college, women's rights, the right for women's to have an abortion.  She learned about clothing, and styles. Wearing "pants", which I found interesting in the novel. Women joining the work force, especially for women. How changes for women played a important part on the early 20th century.

The biggest thing in this book was adapting to changes. Don't let people tell you things are better in the old days. Because it was difficult for immigrants to accept change, and new ideas. 
I enjoyed reading Boston Girl. If you love reading about women empowerment. Pick up this book.
I give it 4 cups. Only because it is slow moving in the beginning and then picks up.

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