Meeting Anita Diamant at Newtonville Books
I fear that if I were to write everything positive and memorable about my experience meeting Anita Diamant at Newtonville Books, and reading her exceptional novel The Boston Girl, I would run out of space using up all of my emoticons and exclamation points for the day. (I try to stay professional, and rarely resort to text-speak on The Literary Connoisseur. I leave that mostly to my personal profile on Facebook. But sometimes an experience I have is just too good not to use exclamation points and emoticons.)
When I moved from Florida up the coast to New England, my heart broke knowing that I had to leave my local Indie bookstore (and my bookstore family), the Vero Beach Book Center. I knew that my heart would long to be back with them, to see its bubble-gum pink paint, and to smell its rows and rows of new and used books. I knew that when I would come up to New England, I would feel the pull of being so far away from a book store I grew so fond of.
But times change, and I had to start a new chapter of my life up north. (Although that won't stop me from visiting, so you haven't shaken me off yet, Vero Beach!)
I'm not entirely sure how exactly I saw that Anita Diamant was on tour for her latest novel's release, The Boston Girl. But it must have been fate because where else was she coming to, but New England just an hour away from where I now live?
A few clicks on my phone later, I discovered that Anita Diamant was coming to a bookstore in Massachusetts called Newtonville Books. I looked up the store, called them, reserved a spot, and played the waiting game.
I thought, "Is it possible I'll be able to attend a book signing so soon after I move to a new town in a new state, and have the absolute time of my life that will ease the blow of leaving my favorite bookstore in Florida?"
While I can't say that exploring new bookstores in New England took away the pain of leaving the Vero Beach Book Center completely, I can say that in finding Newtonville Books, I now know that Indie bookstores all over legitimately hold the same magic that I cherished back in Florida.
The moment I walked into the store, I knew I was home. The employees welcomed me and my family with open arms, the store itself had the very essence of a safe haven which provided a comforting warmth that encircled my chilled bones, and of course, Newtonville Books smelled as it should; like books, security, and happiness.
I shopped, I explored, and I took lots of pictures of stunning Newtonville Books. The moment I stepped inside, I knew I would be back--many times.
Before we knew it, it was time for Anita to start her intro, her talk about her writing and her latest book The Boston Girl, and her Q&A with the audience.
Anita Diamant is so inspiring. I, and everyone else who attended, was entirely captivated by her words. But of course, if you read her books, you can tell just by reading them what an inspirational person she is.
After she did her discussion, it was time for her to sign books!
Needless to say, my first book signing up north, my first book signing with Anita Diamant, and my first book signing with Newtonvile Books was an event to cherish for the rest of my life. I cannot thank Ms Diamant and Newtonville Books enough for making that experience an exceptional one. (In fact, that event went so well that it gave me the courage to attend more since, so thank you!)
If you're in the New England area, please make a trip to darling Newtonville Books. You won't regret it! (Although your bank account might, because there are some treasures there you are going to want to splurge on.)
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant:
This is the story of Addie Baum, also known as The Boston Girl. Addie is a Jewish girl growing up in early 20th century Boston after her family emigrates there (somewhat unwillingly). Her parents are skeptical of America, but Addie and her sisters see it as the land of opportunity.
The Boston Girl is told by an eighty-five year old Addie, who is being interviewed by her grandchild about how life was for her and her family. A new land, a new culture, tragedies, lifelong friendships, explorations, adventures, and, against Addie's expectations, love.
Grab a cup of tea, find somewhere comfy to sit, and relax, as Addie tells her tale of The Boston Girl.
When I first read Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, I automatically assumed that nothing could possibly get better than that book. The Red Tent was so stunningly beautiful and breath-taking, it left an enormous impact on me that has only gotten bigger and better with age. (I think Anita Diamant's books just do that to you.)
Little did I know that The Boston Girl was going to have an even larger effect on me.
When someone asks me what they should read during their reading lull, I will say, "The Boston Girl." When someone asks me what the latest life-changing book I've read is, I'll say, "The Boston Girl." When someone asks what some of my favorite books in the entire world are, I'll tell them, "The Harry Potter series, The Fault in Our Stars, anything by Susanna Kearsley, Outlander, The Red Tent, and oh yeah, THE BOSTON GIRL."
If I could, I would buy an endless amount of copies of this book to hand out to everyone I know who loves to read. (And non-readers as well, for I could see this book getting people hooked on reading.)
When I finished The Boston Girl, I wanted to cry because it was over. It was such a beautiful story, and it was told so eloquently, I would be entirely satisfied with reading nothing but The Boston Girl for the rest of my life.
If what I've written so far doesn't convince you to read this book, maybe this will:
Read this book. For the love of all of the books in the world, pick up this book and read it. If you want to know *my* kind of book, read this book. It's stunning, exceptional, addictive, wonderful, sad, funny, sweet, and it will fill you with warm fuzzy feelings by the end of it.
I will suggest The Boston Girl to anyone and everyone I know (and then some).