Anita Diamant’s newest book “The Boston Girl” is the story of a Jewish immigrant family living in Boston during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Addie Baum is the youngest daughter born into a poor Jewish family. She is the only surviving child of the Baums who is born in the United States.
Addie’s parents, like most immigrants, adhere to the traditional ways of their faith and background. Addie, to their dismay, wants more out of life. She has to leave school after eighth grade, but continues for the rest of her life to seek more education. She joins the “Saturday Club” and meets other immigrant girls. At the Club they form lasting friendships and become “American.”
Diamant’s has written an interesting story, but not an in-depth one. Addie could have been Italian or Irish or a member of any of the other groups that came to Boston during the early twentieth century. This is a fast read but not a page turner. No new ground is explored in her novel. Diamant’s “The Red Tent” is a far better book about the struggle of women during Biblical times.