This book begins with eighty-five year old Addie Baum answering a question posed by her granddaughter Ava: “How did you get to be the woman you are today?” Her “answer” fills up the pages of this work of fiction that reads much like a real life chronicle of what Jewish immigrant families in the early twentieth century encountered as they began pursuing their own American dreams.
Addie, born in 1900 to immigrant parents, was the youngest of their children and the only one born in America. Her story begins in earnest around 1915, Addie describing the life she wanted to live versus the old ways her parents chose to hold onto.
She was growing up in a world which had just emerged from the so-called Victorian Age. Women were becoming increasingly independent and demanding equal rights. When Addie steps out and tries to find her own way in the world, she is met with disapproval at every turn by her mother who finds it hard to adjust to American ways.
It’s a carefully crafted “coming-of-age” story told from the perspective of an elderly Jewish woman reflecting back on her life. Addie’s story will make you smile – and she isn’t afraid to “tell it like it was”. She was a naive young woman when it came to love. While her friends one by one were falling in love and getting married, she found herself falling for the wrong kind of men; in her words she had to “kiss a lot of frogs” before she found her prince.
Throughout the book, author Anita Diamant includes historical perspective through actual events like the 1918 world-wide flu pandemic, and later The Great Depression and how those events impacted Addie and her family. It’s a great book which you will find easy to read, a story told by a Jewish grandmother with an “attitude” who eventually found her soul mate and raised a family of her own.
Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!
© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 2015.