A Good American

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Penguin, Feb 7, 2012 - Fiction - 432 pages
44 Reviews
“A beautifully written novel, laced with history and music.” —Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
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Everything he’d seen had been unimaginably different from the dry, dour streets of home, and to his surprise he was not sorry in the slightest. He was smitten by the beguiling otherness of it all.

 

And so began my grandfather’s rapturous love affair with America—an affair that would continue until the day he died.

This is the story of the Meisenheimer family, told by James, a third-generation American living in Beatrice, Missouri. It’s where his German grandparents—Frederick and Jette—found themselves after journeying across the turbulent Atlantic, fording the flood-swollen Mississippi, and being brought to a sudden halt by the broken water of the pregnant Jette.

 A Good American tells of Jette’s dogged determination to feed a town sauerkraut and soul food; the loves and losses of her children, Joseph and Rosa; and the precocious voices of James and his brothers, sometimes raised in discord…sometimes in perfect harmony. 

But above all, A Good American is about the music in Frederick’s heart, a song that began as an aria, was jazzed by ragtime, and became an anthem of love for his adopted country that the family still hears to this day.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Darwa - LibraryThing

This was one of the books for my book club, and I'm really glad I read it. Story of how young couple moved to the US from Germany in the early 1900s and the family they raised here. Loved the Character development. I especially loved that it was not predictable. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VashonJim - LibraryThing

Started slowly but built to a nice pace in the latter half. An interesting inspection of what it was like to be newly-arrived in the land of opportunity. Read full review

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Contents

SIXTEEN
NINETEEN
TWENTYTVO
TWENTYSIX
TWENTYNINE
THIRTYTWO
THIRTYFIVE
THIRTYEIGHT
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Alex George is an Englishman who lives, works, and writes in the middle of America. He studied law at Oxford University and worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris before moving to the United States in 2003.

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