Four women forged a friendship that changed their lives one week at a time.


Let me start by writing while reading THE SATURDAY EVENING GIRLS CLUB, I kept hearing in my head, “nevertheless, she persisted.” It’s the battle cry for Women standing together today as part  of the Women’s March. We will not be silenced.

BookSparks Summer 2017 continues with a slice of history. Escaping tradition and trying to become their own women in the 1900s doesn’t come easy for four young immigrants living in Boston’s North End. In Jane Healey’s debut novel, THE SATURDAY EVENING GIRLS CLUB (LakeUnionPublishing), it’s the turn of the century when women don’t have the right to vote, nor is much expected from them by a society determined to keep them “in their place.” But at least Caprice, Ada, Maria and Thea have one another and their Saturday Evening Girls Club. The once a week meeting gives the group a break from their home lives and a chance to share their hopes and dreams.

Caprice works at Madame DuPont’s Millinery in the North End and dreams of opening her own hat shop. Her parents want her married to a nice Italian young man, and often arrange dinners with prospective suitors, much to her horror. Brilliant Ada secretly takes college classes despite the disapproval of her Russian Jewish father and hopes to be a doctor one day. Stunning Maria is a dressmaker and 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 the antiquated Jewish tradition of being married off in an arranged marriage.

The four young women face family disappointments, romantic love and heartbreak, work and career struggles, as well as deep cultural prejudice. But their weekly meeting makes it possible for each to have the courage and strength needed to transform their immigrants stories into individual American lives. Each had the odds stacked against her, but persist, believing in their dreams.

I loved learning about this part of history, but what made the novel so wonderful for me are the characters. Jane Healey creates unique personalities in all four of the young women; all of whom I’d love to befriend. There are times I’ve read a novel with several friends/characters and they tend to blend. Caprice, Ada, Maria and Thea are each their own woman and delightful.


It’s interesting to note that although THE SATURDAY EVENING GIRLS CLUB is a work of fiction, there was a real Saturday Evening Girls Club which started as a book club in Boston in 1899. By the 1910s, it had evolved into something much bigger. There were over 250 members of clubs named after each day of the week.


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 Jane visit



Thanks to BooksSparks and Lake Union Publishing, we have one copy of THE SATURDAY EVENING GIRLS CLUB to giveaway. Just tell us if you’ve ever experienced cultural prejudice. We’ll announce a winner Monday.

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  1. It sounds minor compared to all of the current examples of prejudice but it was very hurtful at the time. When I moved from Michigan to a rural area in NC in the early 70s, I was very disparagingly referred to as ‘that Yankee’ –(and trust me it was NOT a compliment). Things are much different here now as the population has become more diverse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A similar thing happened to me Susan Roberts. In the late 80s I moved from NYC to East Texas for a job and was told it would probably be best if I didn’t let anyone know I was a New Yorker or especially, a Catholic. To this day, I can’t really get my mind around it.


  2. I feel like cultural prejudices can strike anywhere. As a Christian, as a mommy of 2 small kids, as a housewife, as an overweight female…I feel like there are always people around who will judge you for being different than them. The trick is not to let them get to you. Know your worth!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There has been cultural prejudice forever. In my mind, class prejudice qualifies. We all deny that it exists now, but it still does.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been lucky to not experience cultural prejudice, but I can tell you I’d have struggled to live back in those days and be told I should “stay in my place”! After forty years in the work force, I still see (and experience) gender prejudice. Will that ever go away? I’m much more vocal about it now, but very little changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a female who once weighed over 300 pounds, yes I have experienced being judged for the way I looked. I have been belittled and so much more! How sad it is. Thankfully I was able to overcome this sensitive personal journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes. My husband was stationed with the military in Spain in the late 1970s. Our family was young, we were thrilled to be in another country and took the briefings about not being “Ugly Americans” very seriously. Did our best to blend in with our dress and behavior. Shocked when somehow it was always immediately obviously we were from the US. Certainly not the serious prejudice many have experienced, but a real eye-opener for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In 1989 my husband and I with our 3 daughters moved to Houston, TX from Long Island. I was called a little Yankee and I didn’t like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know if this is cultural prejudice, but I know people treat me differently because of my size. It seems like it’s the women that are the meanest. I think doctors probably don’t treat the obese women as well as they do the slim ones. One example would be say an attractive well-dressed woman and an average over-weight nice-looking woman are at the deli-counter waiting to place their order. They help the slim one first. I’ve had that happen at a tire place once. I was there before another woman, and they helped that woman first. I let it be known. LOL Another problem I have is my hearing-impairment. Some people just aren’t patient about repeating things when asked. It happens randomly. I get treated fine by some, not so fine by others. It may well be the individuals themselves that have the problem. I just try to remind myself that it’s not me. I’m worthy. No prejudice experienced personally for being Californian or a non-active Christian (although, I will say when I run into members of my church, they will say something about my not having been in church awhile. LOL).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your share, Bonnie. So-called “fat shaming” is the deepest and most widely form of prejudice and bias It’s just like racism or sexism and equally hurtful. Unfortunately, people can be mean. I’m sorry you have been on the receiving side of this form of prejudice. Like you said, “You are worthy.” I have a feeling the people at church will be happy to see you return and welcome you back.


  9. Even though I’m Hispanic, I don’t look it because of my fair skin so I personally have not encountered that but my brother and a few cousins did back I the 70s when we were all in middle school or high school. It breaks my heart to see it still happening today to many people.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Having an accent that leaves no doubt to my Southern roots has led to my being the recipient of ignorant assumptions that I’m not intelligent. It’s frustrating but there are much worse prejudices.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am experiencing discrimination every time I am applying for a new position at my place of employment. All the job posting for the field I am in, you are now required to speak Spanish. This is wrong because other jobs with my place of employment Spanish isnt required. Even though I am qualified for the job, a Spanish speaking person with less qualifications or job experience will get the job before any non-speaking Spanish person. The union can not do anything about it because it states speaking Spanish is preferred in the posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shirley, I am not a lawyer, but I would suggest contacting one to learn your rights. I’m in Miami and fluency in English and Spanish is always asked for. Maybe you should check out your county commissioners and speak with one on the human rights council.


  12. Yes, when I tried to get into medical school in the early 70’s. I was told I needed to stay in the classroom as a teacher then go home and make babies.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve experienced because I’m overweight. Several others have commented with the same issue. I’ve lost weight before. I’m still the same person no matter what size I am.


  14. As a woman who is child-free woman but also a full-time stepmom I have endured a lot of judgement the past seven years. The whole Disney “Evil Stepmom” lable is a very cruel assumption. I’ve also been judged unfairly for choosing to not have my own biological child.


  15. I’ve experienced getting looks because of being overweight. Or I hear the guys at work say a woman is hot because she’s skinny but what happened to liking someone just for their personality, not just based on looks?


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