For four young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End in the early 1900s, escaping tradition doesn’t come easy. But at least they have one another and the Saturday Evening Girls Club, a social pottery-making group offering respite from their hectic home lives—and hope for a better future. Ambitious Caprice dreams of opening her own hat shop, which clashes with the expectations of her Sicilian-born parents. Brilliant Ada secretly takes college classes despite the disapproval of her Russian Jewish father. Stunning Maria could marry anyone yet guards her heart to avoid the fate of her Italian Catholic mother, broken down by an alcoholic husband. And shy Thea is torn between asserting herself and embracing an antiquated Jewish tradition. The friends face family clashes and romantic entanglements, career struggles and cultural prejudice. But through their unfailing bond, forged through their weekly gathering, they’ll draw strength—and the courage to transform their immigrant stories into the American lives of their dreams.
I received this book, The Saturday Evening Girls Club: A Novel by Jane Healey, from BookSparks as the final book in their spring book tour, “It’s Raining Books”. Unfortunately for me, somehow my mother received this book before I had a chance to read it and she didn’t know I had a post due. My mom recently had a health scare but she’s feeling healthy again so we went over the editorial calendar recently. We wanted to make sure all the books between us were covered, and we realized this one was still due.
While I missed the BookSparks’ tour, I still wanted to share this book with readers so they’d know they could run out and pick it up for themselves.
This story places you in the North End of Boston and takes you back in time to around 1908. The author, Jane Healey describes the Saturday Evening Girls Club which was founded by Edith Guerrier and Helen Osborne Sorrow as an organization that introduced the girls to each other. It was a pottery store that employed some of the girls and helped others with education and jobs. They would listen to music, learn to folk dance, perform in plays and would grow to become best friends
This is the story of four of the girls attending the Saturday Evening Girls Club – Caprice, Marie, Thea, and Ada. The girls are Russian and Italian immigrants.
This story follows their friendship as they grow into young women. Each girl has their own dreams, struggles, heartaches, and difficult decisions to make. Caprice wants to have her own business, Ada attends college in secret from her father while she is falling in love with a boy with a different religious background,, Marie known for her beauty wants to help her family she is willing to marry a man she does not love, and Thea is about to become a bride to the man her father chose and she has met only once. The girls are there for each other and always has each other’s back.
Jane Healey brings you into their lives with all the joys and sorrows so well and lets you experience all the sights and sounds of a century ago in Boston. The characters are so real that you feel you are part of their families. I really enjoyed reading this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jane Healey was inspired to write The Saturday Evening Girls Club after learning of the group’s history while researching an article on their namesake pottery, also known as Paul Revere Pottery. She became fascinated by the relatively unknown stories of these smart, sassy, enterprising young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End at the turn of the twentieth century.
In addition to being a fiction writer, Jane is a freelance journalist and consultant. Her publishing credits include the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, AOL/Huffington Post, the Street, Publishers Weekly, and New England Home.
Jane holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree from Northeastern University. She shares a home north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. When she’s not writing, she enjoys running, reading, and cooking.
For more information on the author and her work, visit www.janehealey.com.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSparks as part of the “It’s Raining Books” Tour in exchange for this post. I was not required to post a positive review, but I chose to do so because I enjoyed the book! Thanks so much!