Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
This book was an absolute treat. The young women in the story were smart, witty, sassy, and courageous, even though it was frowned upon by most everyone around them. And they persevered. It was just plain fun to read about them. The fact that this group of women, the Saturday Evening Girls Club, really did exist in the North End in Boston back in the early part of the 20th century made it even more exciting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love when a book like this teaches me something new. I’m now on a mission to learn more about the S.E.G.
Healey also did a phenomenal job of transporting me back to Boston circa 1908-09. And I don’t just mean that it was fun to read about, but that I felt like I was actually there, in the city, in their homes, at their meetings. I loved that feeling of being completely immersed within the story. This book just hit all the right buttons for me. If you’re looking for a title to add to your list of beach reads for the summer, make sure to include this one.
About the author (from Amazon):
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.
Thank you to Booksparks for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.