The Boston Girl

The Boston Girl Summary

New York Times bestseller!

An unforgettable novel about a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century, told “with humor and optimism…through the eyes of an irresistible heroine” (People)—from the acclaimed author of The Red Tent.

Anita Diamant’s “vivid, affectionate portrait of American womanhood” (Los Angeles Times), follows the life of one woman, Addie Baum, through a period of dramatic change. Addie is The Boston Girl, the spirited daughter of an immigrant Jewish family, born in 1900 to parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End of Boston, 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. 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, to finding the love of her life, eighty-five-year-old Addie recounts her adventures with humor and compassion for the naïve girl she once was.

Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made 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. “Diamant brings to life a piece of feminism’s forgotten history” (Good Housekeeping) in this “inspirational…page-turning portrait of immigrant life in the early twentieth century” (Booklist).

Book Reviews

The Literary Phoenix

Addie is amazing.5 star

You find yourself quickly drawn into Addie's world. Your heart breaks when her heart breaks. You're happy when she's happy. You are angry when she's angry. Diamant has a way of looping the reader in emotionally with her characters and you are rooting for them even before you really know them. The narrator, Linda Lavin, does an excellent job of bringing Addie to life. There are times where she grumbles something or laughs and its absolutely like hearing the story of a life from a vivacious elderly woman. Excellent.55


Disappointing1 star

Still remembering how great The Red Tent was and looking for a new read, I downloaded this. Boring. Fluffy. Just an overall disappointing book with little substance. At the end, the reader even has to endure a nasty political swipe against Ronald Reagan which at this point is tired and trite.15

Bethany Bowers

Lovely4 star

This is the second time I've read this book and so glad I did. I felt like I was visiting an old friend in Addie. It's intimately told and made me teary a few times, such a lovely account of witnessing someone learn their self worth and overcome changing times and having the courage to say, "why not, let's try this!"45


A charming, engaging story5 star

I loved the all of the Boston references in this book. This book made me feel like I was living this character's life. One of the few books that I've read that forces you to feel something. The characters were all so engaging and this story had me captivated from the very beginning. I also love the form of how Addie tells her story. A very insightful book about what it means to grow up. This book is worth every penny. I would highly recommend this to everyone, young and old readers. If you enjoyed the red tent, this book is another great read.55

Long legion

Not up to previous standards3 star

The premise of the "elderly" person relating their life story to a young relative is a bit overused. The book was ok but certainly not up to The Red Tent. I felt this one was a bit "simple" almost as if Diamanté had an idea and rushed through the book.35


Read This Novel5 star

This novel was beautiful, heartwarming, and charming. The excellent writing makes it seem as though if you're sitting their listening to Addie tell her story. I couldn't put it down!55


More like an outline than a book1 star

Underwhelming at best. Slogged through it. This read like an outline, poor dialogue, no emotional chord. There were could be great characters; but, it was an incomplete sketch. The entire premise of the main character being interviewed serves no purpose whatsoever. It is just an awkward device. Not even close to being in the same league as the red tent or dog town. Do not recommend.15


The Boston Girl5 star

What a great book! I felt like I was hearing my 90 year old mother-in-law talking to my daughter. A true treasure like Red Tent.55


So, so3 star

It definitely held my attention but not near as good as The Red Tent.35


Truly lovely5 star

I'm always fascinated by the unprecedented changes people of this age - particularly woman - experienced in their lifetimes. This tells that story so beautifully, personally and warmly. Especially fun for us Boston girls!55

Other Books by Anita Diamant

Day After Night


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Good Harbor


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