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A Good American - Alex George
A Good American
by: (author)
3.62 65
An uplifting novel about the families we create and the places we call home. It is 1904. When Frederick and Jette must flee her disapproving mother, where better to go than America, the land of the new? Originally set to board a boat to New York, at the last minute, they take one destined for New... show more
An uplifting novel about the families we create and the places we call home. It is 1904. When Frederick and Jette must flee her disapproving mother, where better to go than America, the land of the new? Originally set to board a boat to New York, at the last minute, they take one destined for New Orleans instead ("What's the difference? They're both new"), and later find themselves, more by chance than by design, in the small town of Beatrice, Missouri. Not speaking a word of English, they embark on their new life together. Beatrice is populated with unforgettable characters: a jazz trumpeter from the Big Easy who cooks a mean gumbo, a teenage boy trapped in the body of a giant, a pretty schoolteacher who helps the young men in town learn about a lot more than just music, a minister who believes he has witnessed the Second Coming of Christ, and a malevolent, bicycle-riding dwarf. A Good American is narrated by Frederick and Jette's grandson, James, who, in telling his ancestors' story, comes to realize he doesn't know his own story at all. From bare-knuckle prizefighting and Prohibition to sweet barbershop harmonies, the Kennedy assassination, and beyond, James's family is caught up in the sweep of history. Each new generation discovers afresh what it means to be an American. And, in the process, Frederick and Jette's progeny sometimes discover more about themselves than they had bargained for. Poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, A Good American is a novel about being an outsider-in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes even in your own family. It is a universal story about our search for home.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780399157592 (039915759X)
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Pages no: 400
Edition language: English
Bookstores:
Community Reviews
teaandbooks
teaandbooks rated it
1.0 Unimpressed.
As June is Immigrant Heritage Month it seemed like this would be a great time to knock off another book I've had sitting on my shelf for awhile. Alex George is a British man who moved to Missouri after marrying his US wife and tells the history of a family who moved to the same area. Sounded like an...
Joanne
Joanne rated it
Tells the story of multiple generations of the Meisenheimer family, from their immigration to America to their great-grandchildren. We spend time with many characters, getting to know their thoughts and everyday experiences. Highly recommended.
florinda3rs
florinda3rs rated it
Read for BlogHer Book Club, February/March 2013The Meisenheimer story is told by James, the second of four American-born grandsons of immigrants Frederick and Jette, whose plans to settle in St. Louis were permanently sidetracked when they stopped over in the small Missouri town of Beatrice. Surroun...
Ladybug's Doodles
Ladybug's Doodles rated it
4.0 A Good American
This books is excellent. It caught my attention with the first pages and except for 1-2 spots, it didn't lose me. I found myself laughing out loud, and also crying. I literally found it hard to put down. Alex George is a wonderful storyteller. I loved following the family history from Germany to B...
Reading Rambles
Reading Rambles rated it
5.0 A Good American
Just a really, really good book.
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