Cover image for The Boston girl a novel
The Boston girl a novel
Diamant, Anita.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[New York] : Simon & Schuster Audio, 2014.
Physical Description:
7 audio discs (480 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Addie Baum was born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America. Growing up in Boston, Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine: a world of short skirts and new opportunities for women. From the one-room apartment she shared with her family, to the library group for girls she joins, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naive girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.
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Title from disc surface.

Compact disc.
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Audiobook on CD


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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 na ve 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.

Author Notes

Anita Diamant is the author of Saying Kaddish, Choosing a Jewish Life, The New Jewish Wedding, Living a Jewish Life, The New Jewish Baby Book, Bible Baby Names, and the bestselling novel, The Red Tent. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts. Anita Diamant is the author of the bestselling novel "The Red Tent" & several books on Judaism, including "Living a Jewish Life", "Choosing a Jewish Life", & "The New Jewish Baby Book". A journalist who has written for "Redbook", the "Boston Globe", the "Boston Phoenix", & other publications, she lives in Newtonville, Massachusetts.

(Publisher Provided) Anita Diamant was born in Newark, New Jersey on June 27, 1951. She received a bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from Washington University in 1973 and a master's Degree in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1975. She worked as a freelance journalist for numerous years and wrote for such magazines and newspapers as the Boston Globe, New England Monthly, Self, Parenting, Parents, McCalls, and Ms. She also wrote about Jewish practice and the Jewish community for Reform Judaism magazine, Hadassah magazine, and

She eventually started writing guidebooks to Jewish life including The New Jewish Wedding; The New Jewish Baby Book; Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today's Families; and Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead and Mourn as a Jew. She also writes novels including The Red Tent; Good Harbor; The Last Days of Dogtown, Day after Night and The Boston Girl.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Much like Brian Morton's recent Florence Gordon, Diamant's new novel is a resonant portrait of a complex woman. When 85-year-old Addie Baum is asked by her granddaughter how she came to be the woman she is today, Addie launches into the story of her life. In a voice that is as comforting as it is fluid, and without a shred of self-pity, Addie tells of her poverty-stricken childhood as the daughter of immigrants living in Boston's North End neighborhood. Against her mother's wishes, she spends the summer of her sixteenth year at an inn for young ladies in a seaside town north of Boston. It's there she meets like-minded girls who will become lifelong friends and sees that there might be a way out for an intelligent young woman with ambition. She also talks about her sister's tragic circumstances; her first disastrous love affair; and her happy marriage. In addition to providing a graphic, page-turning portrait of immigrant life in the early twentieth century, Diamant's novel is an inspirational read that is likely to be a popular book-club choice. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A media blitz, including an author tour, will back the latest from the best-selling author of the much-loved novel The Red Tent (1997) as well as Day after Night (2009)--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Linda Lavin-best known for the title role in the sitcom Alice-brings warmth and charm to this story of a Jewish girl's coming of age in early 20th-century America. Lavin's Boston accent and Yiddish pronunciation lend authenticity to this first-person bildungsroman. Diamant's (Day After Night) latest has Addie Baum recounting to a granddaughter her attempts to leave the physical and cultural claustrophobia of her parents' tenement world. While attending a book discussion group at a settlement house, Addie makes several friends and begins to achieve liberation as women are winning the right to vote and deciding their own direction in life. VERDICT Detailed and charming, this work is recommended for fans of Boston, American history, and Jewish immigrant tales. ["Readers interested in historical fiction will certainly enjoy this look at the era, with all its complications and wonders": LJ 10/15/14 review of the Scribner hc.]-David Faucheux, Lafayette, LA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Boston Girl Nobody told you? 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? I'm flattered you want to interview me. And when did I ever say no to my favorite grandchild? I know I say that to all of my grandchildren and I mean it every single time. That sounds ridiculous or like I'm losing my marbles, but it's true. When you're a grandmother you'll understand. And why not? Look at the five of you: a doctor, a social worker, two teachers, and now you. Of course they're going to accept you into that program. Don't be silly. My father is probably rolling over in his grave, but I think it's wonderful. Don't tell the rest of them, but you really are my favorite and not only because you're the youngest. Did you know you were named after me? It's a good story. Everyone else is named in memory of someone who died, like your sister Jessica, who was named for my nephew Jake. But I was very sick when you were born and when they thought I wasn't going to make it, they went ahead and just hoped the angel of death wouldn't make a mistake and take you, Ava, instead of me, Addie. Your parents weren't that superstitious, but they had to tell everyone you were named after your father's cousin Arlene, so people wouldn't give them a hard time. It's a lot of names to remember, I know. Grandpa and I named your aunt Sylvia for your grandfather's mother, who died in the flu epidemic. Your mother is Clara after my sister Celia. What do you mean, you didn't know I had a sister named Celia? That's impossible! Betty was the oldest, then Celia, and then me. Maybe you forgot. Nobody told you? You're sure? Well, maybe it's not such a surprise. People don't talk so much about sad memories. And it was a long time ago. But you should know this. So go ahead. Turn on the tape recorder. -- My father came to Boston from what must be Russia now. He took my sisters, Betty and Celia, with him. It was 1896 or maybe 1897; I'm not sure. My mother came three or four years later and I was born here in 1900. I've lived in Boston my whole life, which anyone can tell the minute I open my mouth. Excerpted from The Boston Girl: A Novel by Anita Diamant All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.