#398 ~ A Good American

A Good American by Alex George

Published by: Amy Einhorn Books

Published on: February 7, 2012

Page Count:

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Reading Format: ARC sent to me by the publisher for consideration

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook and audiobook

Audiobook Giveaway: Thanks to the generosity of Penguin Audio, I have an audiobook copy to offer to one of my readers as a giveaway. The giveaway will be open through Friday, February 17th. I’ll announce the winner via Twitter on Saturday and follow up with an email. Good luck!

My Review

When Frederick first innocently wooed Jette with his voice, neither of them had any notion of how vehemently Jette’s parents would disapprove of their relationship. For the sake of love and their unborn child, the two leave Germany for the United States. Although much different from the land of their birth, the Meisenheimer’s find help and support from other immigrants. Like them, Frederick wanted to be good American. In the end, this proved both easy and difficult. Through the generations they found that the definition of “good American” is as vast and varied as the country’s terrain and people.

What impressed me the most about this novel was the exploration of what it means to be a good American. It is a question that is always relevant and one whose meaning is no more constant than time. Frederick certainly believed he knew what was expected of him when he became an American citizen. Jette felt quite differently.  So different, in fact, that she resented the way in which her husband showed his loyalty. As immigrants, not unlike religious converts, Frederick and Jette had the desire to demonstrate the people they had become. For their children, the need to prove it wasn’t anywhere near as intense. It was little different than being a good person. With each new generation of the Meisenheimer family, the concept of being a good American was considered less often. That didn’t mean that Frederick and Jette’s grandchildren were any less good citizens than they were. It simply became rooted in who they were.

I love a good saga. There is just something about following a family overtime, seeing how the choices and decisions made by one generation impacts the following. While I agree with Jen that there some minor issues with the amount of foreshadowing, I loved this book just as it is. I found myself drawn to the book, sneaking in as much time with the Meisenheimer family as I could. I turned down the opportunity to watch Groundhog Day for the first time on Groundhog Day because I could not and would not put the book down. With each twist in turn of the family’s history, I felt like I was there rooting for them. Alex George provided the perfect amount of detail and description for this family history. I close to each generation’s characters without being slowed down by the day-to-day information that can often make a saga extremely long and heavy. A Good American is another jewel in the Amy Einhorn crown. Bravo!

And now for the giveaway…

While I was reading the book, a surprise came in the mail from Penguin Audio – the audiobook version of A Good American narrated by Gibson Frazier. As tempted as you know I am by all things audiobook, I thought it would be fun to offer this copy to one of my readers. I only ask that if you win that you report back to me on the narrator. I’ve never listened to one of his books before.

This will be my first go with Rafflecopter. Here’s hoping that it works well. Good luck to us all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • At 2012.02.13 01:17, Catherine said:

    Hi Jennifer, I too love a good involved family saga. The Good American really sounds like a good read…and hopefully for me, a good listen! :) So enjoy your blog, always. Catherine

    • At 2012.02.13 01:26, Marg said:

      I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well! Such a fun read – I laughed, I cried, I closed the book with a contented sigh!

      • At 2012.02.13 03:23, Rebecca said:

        I was just looking at this book a couple of days ago! I want to read it when I finally catch up on my to-read list!

        • At 2012.02.13 09:13, Beth F said:

          I knew you’d love it!

          • At 2012.02.13 09:15, Serena said:

            I’ve heard such great things about this book, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed it.

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            • At 2012.02.13 10:11, Teresa Lukey said:

              I’m so excited to find this giveaway. This book is on my to-read list. It sounds good and you deem it a jewel, so now I REALLY want it.

              • At 2012.02.13 10:31, Penny @ LiteraryHoarders said:

                Funny! This book has been narrowed down to be our book club’s choice for March! Of course we would love a copy!

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                • At 2012.02.13 11:14, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

                  I’m not *surprised* that you loved this too, but I’m glad!

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                  • At 2012.02.13 11:17, Jennie said:

                    I have seen this book everywhere and the cover has my interests piqued.

                    • At 2012.02.13 11:46, Jenn's Bookshelves said:

                      I just knew you would love this one!!

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                      • At 2012.02.13 13:37, Jessica M said:

                        I’m so glad to hear that you loved this one — I’ve been really looking forward to it. I’ll have to read it soon!

                        • At 2012.02.13 13:38, Jessica M said:

                          Oops, forgot to include my twitter handle — it’s @crazylilcuban.

                          • At 2012.02.13 20:44, Anita said:

                            I’m almost finished reading this one, please pardon me for not reading all your review. I really am loving it, and it’s made me laugh and cry, and read in awe at the talent of Alex George.

                            • At 2012.02.14 12:41, Susan said:

                              This sounds like a good book. Sure, if I win, I will report back on the narrator. Perhaps I am familiar with him.

                              My Twitter is: @Westwood

                              • At 2012.02.15 18:19, Julie said:

                                Love, nothing but love for this book. It will be one that I re-read and push to everyone.

                                (Required, will not be published)

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