We all know the book The Red Tent. Right? You’ve read it? It was Anita Diamant’s first novel and an instant hit. In it she imagined the lives of the women we know mostly only as names in Bible stories. The book was fascinating and one that we still ask of each other“did you read The Red Tent?”
The Boston Girl is Anita Diamant’s new novel. In it Addie Baum is 85 years old and telling the story of her life to her grand-daughter, Ava. It’s a good story, an immigrant story of a Jewish family making life their own. Some in the family are maintaining the traditions and values of the past, while Addie sees a new way in this country and tries to make it her own.
She is the “rebel” daughter, the one who works and lives and makes her own decisions no matter the reaction of her mother, who, by the way, I got tired of listening to as she kvetched about every single thing. I know she had to be there in the story and she had to be what she was but boy, she never let up! Of course, because she didn’t, Addie worked all that much harder to be her own person.
I was drawn to this story because we, my cousin and I, have been recording the stories of the elders in our family. We realized almost too late how valuable these stories are, how much the ‘seniors’ love talking and how much we are learning about ourselves by listening to them.
I wouldn’t put this one on the level of The Red Tent but it was good watching Addie grow up and become Addie. I like strong women.