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Charity Girl Hardcover – January 3, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The daughter of two indigent Russian-Jewish immigrants, Freida Mintz comes of age at a time of extraordinary national transformation. Chafing at the restrictions imposed by her embittered mother and mourning the loss of an ebullient, loving father, Freida rejects an arranged marriage and, like many other young women, sets out to create herself in an urban setting. She labors as an underpaid service worker in a Boston department store, stretching her savings and savoring independence unknown to her immigrant predecessors. Befriended by Lou, an irrepressible force, "unlike any other girl Freida had known...so brassy, so lavishly alive," Freida plunges headfirst into life. The waters of this newfound freedom are choppy, and Freida's sexual liaison with a soldier leads her on a path of personal discovery and extreme pain.Read more ›
Lowenthal recreates the era masterfully, providing interesting historic detail
which he supplements with appropriate dialogue and phrases ("gone to freckles").
Yet the historic background never overpowers the well paced plot and the
thoroughly credible characters. Both Frieda, the young protagonist, and her
mother are skillfully developed, as is much of the supporting cast. The reader sympathizes with Frieda's struggle to "stop letting `want to be' trump `is' " and marvels at her capacity for self-deception.
The narration is a thorough interweaving of introspection, dialogue and action.
The strongest scenes involve Lowenthal's explorations of the mind-set of the Charity
Girls and, more importantly, the attitudes of their "wardens" and the prevailing culture. The motifs behind the wheel of the car and on the
baseball field work splendidly.
Charity Girls is a novel you don't want to miss.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked this book quite a bit. It's the story of a poor naive young girl in the first World War who contracts VD from a soldier she thought loved her, and ends up being... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Leslie Sciandra
Young folks getting tripped up by their hormones. Not stupid or bad, just human. And the price paid is very dear indeed. A chapter of history new to me. Realistically done. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mary Glass
It was okay. Interesting concept and story, but went on a little longer than I preferred. I was a little bored by the end of the story.Published 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
As a historical novel, Charity Girl covers a fascinating situation. Industrialization and mercantilism have created opportunities for women to survive without the protection of... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Breakaway Farm
This was an unusuel and informative story I had. Never heard of this treatment of young womenPublished 17 months ago by HELEN LYNCH
This book highlights a dark era in American history when women had few rights. The story illuminates the shameful way some women were treated during WWI years in regard to veneral... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Harriet
A really strange subject for a novel. The main character was naive, weak and uninformed. Would not recommend this for anyone.Published 19 months ago by memard