The Boston Girl

boston girl cover image The Boston Girl

by Anita Diamant
General Fiction
Scribner
Hardcover, 336 pages
$26.00

For those who loved Diamant’s immensely powerful feminist novel, The Red Tent, The Boston Girl is likely to be a significant departure and disappointment. It is almost the diametric opposite. Presented as a transcript of a tape-recorded monologue of an 85-year-old woman speaking to her granddaughter, Diamant’s story manages to touch on many of the very significant challenges facing a young woman in early 20th century America, and more specifically a Jewish immigrant. For this, it was interesting and at least one of us here at the bookshop did appreciate reading it. However, there is no denying that the telling of the story remains throughout superficial, devoid of complexity, almost rote, leaving the reader wanting so much more. The Boston Girl is more like a concept piece for a book Diamant’s intending to write than a finished novel of an accomplished writer.