Between the Covers: A Good Ameircan

Say it Rah-shay By Mar 20, 2013 No Comments

r’s note: I am a part of the BlogHer book club. I was compensated for participating in the club but all thoughts are my own. 

I love historical fiction. There is something about a time of “before.” Before I was a responsible adult worrying about everything under the sun. Before I had grown up things to do that are serious and such. I love taking a peek into the lives of others in a time that seems so unlike yet similar to mine.

It was my pleasure to read Alex George’s A Good American.

About the book:

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.

Narrated by Frederick and Jette’s grandson, James, this book is an epic tale of family, music and what it means to love and be a part of one’s country.

So what can I say about this book?
After a slow start the book picks up and we become a part of the lives of the Meisenheimer family. The  characters span three generations and we are taken through American history as they grow and develop.

Music plays a pivotal role throughout the book as beginning when Frederick serenades Jette. Throughout the book the characters use song to share their feelings, as plot points and to move the book along. There is great detail about jazz, blues and other genres that keeps on track with history.

Family secrets.
Every family has them but as James comes to learn, there are some secrets that may make one question everything one has been taught to learn.

Love stories
We cannot ignore the relationship of Frederick and Jette, who flee their homeland to keep their love going. The romance of Cora and Joseph was lovely and sweet.

The book gradually comes to an end with less of a bang than I liked. There is a big reveal that I figured out but still shocked me.

To join the conversation about A Good American, visit the BlogHer Book Club.

r’s note: affiliate links are used in this post.


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.

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