Photo: The cover of the novel, “The Boston Girl” by Anita Diamant.
Anita Diamant’s best-selling novel “The Boston Girl” has been selected as the featured title for One Book One Belmont 2016, Belmont Public Library’s sixth town-wide reading program.
The library and 11 co-sponsoring community groups invite town residents to read the book and participate in book discussions and other related activities throughout the month of April.
Diamant, the author of “The Red Tent” and “Day After Night” will speak in Belmont on Tuesday, April 26.
Dora Levy Mossanen in the Huffington Post, called the book,“the story of every immigrant and the difficulties of adapting to and accepting an unfamiliar culture.”
The novel unfolds as 85-year-old Addie Baum attempts to answer her granddaughters’ question, “How did you get to be the woman you are today?” Baum begins by describing the one-room tenement apartment in the North End where she grew up with her Russian immigrant parents, two sisters, and sometimes a boarder during the early years of the 20th century.
Through a book club for young women at the Salem Street Settlement House and several life-changing summers in Rockport, Baum is introduced to a new world where women can go to high school and college, have a career, and live on their own. Against the opposition of her parents, Baum charts her own course during a time of upheaval; World War I, Prohibition, the great flu epidemic, the Depression and passage of women’s right to vote.
The One Book One Belmont Planning Committee, made up of representatives of the library and various town departments and commissions, selected the book after reviewing suggestions from library patrons and staff.
“’The Boston Girl’ was the third most checked-out book at the Belmont Public Library in 2015,” said Library Director Peter Struzziero.
“So you can see it strikes a chord with our readers. I think it reminds them of their grandmother’s story, or their mother’s story, or even their own story, the immigrant experience of being torn between two cultures,” he said.
One Book One Belmont Co-Chair Emily Reardon hopes the book will inspire readers to share their own stories with other family members. This spring, the Library is collaborating with the Council on Aging, the Belmont Media Center, and the Belmont Citizen-Herald on an oral history project along the lines of StoryCorps, recording interviews of Belmont citizens conducted by their grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
One Book One Belmont 2016 is supported by the Friends of the Belmont Public Library and the cosponsors: Belmont Against Racism, Belmont Citizen-Herald and WickedLocal Belmont, Belmont Gallery of Art, Belmont Historical Society, Belmont Library Foundation, Belmont Media Center, Belmont Public Schools, Belmont World Film, the Council on Aging, Porter Square Books, and the Recreation Department.
You can borrow “The Boston Girl” from the library in many different formats: hardcover, paperback, large print, book on CD, ebook or audiobook from the Overdrive catalog, and on some of the Library’s circulating Kindles. To place a request, visit the library website at belmont.lib.ma.us or call the reference desk, 617-993-2870
To place a request, visit the library website at belmont.lib.ma.us or call the reference desk, 617-993-2870.