BlogHer Book Club Review: A Good American

I had the pleasure of reviewing Alex George’s debut novel, A Good American.

A Good American is the story of Frederick and Jette, two young Germans that fall in love who, after running out of options in their home county, decide to make themselves a new future in America. The year is 1903 as they embark on the journey that will define the rest of their lives.

Frederick and Jette end up in the fictional town of Beatrice, Missouri through a series of unexpected events. There they settle and the lives of the Frederick and Jette Meiseinheimer and the lives of their descendents unfold within the pages of the book. The story goes through four generations of the family.

“Always, there was music.”
The opening line of the book immediately spoke to me.  The continuing musical theme of the book (of course I don’t mean it was literally a “musical book”, I mean music was involved in the characters’ lives from the start)  continued to hit home for me. Frederick loved music, loved singing and performing and passed that love to his descendents. I was raised in a musical family, so the way Alex George described the music and the way it made each character feel spoke to me immensely.  The characters are introduced to a wide variety of music including opera, ragtime, blues, and barbershop. The barbershop  in particular made me all gooey inside, because I have performed in a barbershop quartet.

I have to say: of all the books I’ve reviewed so far, this one was my absolute favorite. From the moment I read the first page, I was in love. The writing is beautiful, the characters wonderful, colorful, and are brought to life very well. I came to love this family of German immigrants. I cheered with them in their joys, gasped during their times of drama, and shed tears (yeah, real ones) when tragedy struck. As soon as I closed the book upon finishing the last page, I immediately opened it again and began to read from the beginning. I reluctantly parted with it to pretty much shove it at my best friend with the insistence that she read it RIGHTNOW.
A Good American has secured a space in my top ten favorite books of all-time. I highly suggest you go get a copy right now. As in, immediately. Why haven’t you gotten your copy yet? GO.

DISCLOSURE: I received both monetary compensation plus a copy of A Good American for this post as part of the BlogHer Book Club. You can read more about this book or join the discussion by visiting the BlogHer Book Club’s discussion of A Good American. I really did adore this book. These thoughts and words are 100% authentic, and 100% my own.



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