In this coming-of-age tale we start with an 85 year-old Addie telling her life story to her grand daughter. Addie was born in 1900 to immigrant parents and we see her grow up in an ever-changing Boston. We are with Addie as she comes into her own as a teenager, making friends and learning everything she can. As Addie experiences her first love, gets her first job, and watches her sisters start families, we observe what it was like to be a teenager in the late ‘teens’ and early ‘twenties’. We also experience the Great War, Spanish Flu, and the Great Depression along with Addie and her family.
Anita Diamant did a great job portraying the life of a Jewish girl in the first quarter of the twentieth century. I really enjoyed that the book hit on all of the high points, the major shocking, earth rattling events of that time period without inserting the main character into all of them. The Boston Girl thankfully was not one of those books where the main character is present during or disastrously affected by every single major event of the era. We do see how they affected her life, and the life of her family, but without high, death0defying stakes. It took me a while to get used to the narration jumping around, but it read very much like an 85 year-old telling a story. I quickly learned to enjoyed the tidbits of wisdom and hindsight sprinkled throughout the book.
Overall this was a quick and engrossing read, which I finished within two days. Addie’s relationship with her mother felt so real, and often-times heartbreaking, that at times I had to put down the book a few times to take a mental break. I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction and hope readers will enjoy walking through the early part of the twentieth century with Addie.
Recommended for those who:
Are interested in Jewish culture
Loving coming-of-age stories
Favorite Quote: “It took me until I was almost forty before I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.”