Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Good American; Alex George

A Good American; Alex George
Penguin Audio - 2012
Gibson Frazier, narrator - excellent

A Good American was my book group pick for July and everyone loved it.  It's a wonderful story about the German immigrant experience from 1904 through 2010.

When Jette's mother rejects the man she has fallen in love with she convinces Frederick Meisenheimer to set sail for America. The couple, with a baby on the way, eventually settle in Beatrice, Missouri, a small town with other German immigrants.  While  Frederick immediately falls in love with all the possibilities American has to offer, Jette  with new infant son Joseph is homesick and restless, and when a second child, Rosa arrives, the couples relationship becomes strained.  When World War I calls eligible young men to duty, Frederick, although now 39 and running a restaurant, enlists in the military feeling a sense of duty to the country he loves. Jette is furious.

Music is of significant importance in this story, Jazz and Blues helps the family through the tough times and keeps the family close.  There are several wonderful characters who come to life on the pages as the reader follows the Meisenheimer  through the generations: WWI, prohibition, the Great Depression and WWII.  Heartbreak and tragedy comes often to this family and to the people they care about but, despite this they remain stronger together.  The story has a nice balance of love, life, romance and loss.

Although I definitely enjoyed the first half of this book more, the entire novel was a transporting experience with an unexpected revelation as the story wound down.  Alex George is a talented debut author to watch for. If you love well done immigrant stories, be sure to check this one out.  The audio was excellent.

4.5/5 stars
(library audio)

21 comments:

  1. I have been curious about this one. Glad the audio is good!

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  2. I've had this one far too long. I wonder if I can get my book club to read it.

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  3. I listened to this one when it was first released. Both the audio and the story were excellent.

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  4. I think I would like that one too!

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  5. My entire family on both sides were German immigrants. I will have to check this one out.

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    1. I think that there is plenty to like in this story for most readers and probably even more reasons to read it for someone like you. (Both sets of my grandparents were Polish immigrants)

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  6. Have added this to my to read list. Have a personal interest through family. Fascinating.

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  7. Love the cover, and I need to know if he made it back from the war.

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  8. Sounds like a book I would like--my parents were immigrants, and the immigrant experience is a powerful part of the American story.

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    1. Jane, I think you would enjoy this one very much - pls add to your TBR.

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  9. I read this a few years ago, and ever once in a while I still find myself thinking about the characters.

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    1. Tina, don't you love when the characters and story stick with you long after? This was an excellent debut.

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  10. I'm so glad you really liked this one. I thought you would. I hope you are feeling much better today.

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    1. Thanks Margot - out and about today somewhat and yes, I did love this one.

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  11. I remember everyone raving about this when it came out but I've passed on it several times when I've found it on sale. Thanks for the kick in the butt to get ahold of a copy of it.

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