Skip to main content

A Good American by Alex George

A Good Read

A Good American by Alex George grabbed me and held me from the first page, not because it was action packed, but because the narrator had a luring, lyrical voice that pulled me into the lives of a couple of German immigrants and their families down the line. The narrator is the third-generation member of the Meisenheimer family now rooted in America.  He tells how his grandparents came to the United States and forged a new and unfamiliar life in the small town of Beatrice, Missouri. This book was rife with colorful and memorable characters from all of the Meisenheimers including Frederick, a good American, to the people who touched their lives like Lomax the cornet player, or the hell-fire, long-haired reverend, or Mrs. Fitch who taught more than music.  I wanted to hear about the people of Beatrice and was almost sad when the book ended.  I wanted to hear James, the narrator, eloquently weave more humorous and touching tales.  True to life, there were sad incidents that got me choked up, but I also found myself laughing out loud at times.  This novel is a reminder that America is a land of immigrants. Being a first-generation American, I felt a connection to this book.  My parents came from Germany, too, of course, under totally different circumstances.  Everyone has a history to cling onto. But like most Americans, I feel blessed to be living here.  I think Alex George summarized it beautifully.
We are all immigrants, a glorious confection of races and beliefs, united by the rock that we live on. As the years wash over us and new generations march into the future, family histories are submerged into this greater narrative. We become, simply Americans.

Alex George, A Good American  (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012), 371.

I give this book a thumbs-up. Es ist gut! 
My book club had the following to say about it:  They all liked it. Okay, so this time we weren’t talking all that much about the book, but we had a good reason. I just became a first-time grandma and, of course, baby talk trumps book talk. My granddaughter is just adorable! See the picture?  Don’t you agree?  This third-generation American looks a lot like her grandma.  :)  Well, I like to think so anyway.  Welcome to the world little one!
Each note Joseph sang was a small starburst of beauty, too beautiful for the world into which it emerged.

Alex George, A Good American  (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012), 69

My grandmother’s life had been one long opera. There had been drama, heroes, villains, improbable plot twists, all that.  But most of all there had been love, great big waves of it crashing against the rocks of life, bearing us all back to grace.

Alex George, A Good American  (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012), 329

We cannot exist without our histories; they are what defines us.
Alex George, A Good American  (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012), 356

Happy reading,


  1. Sounds like a book I really would enjoy. Thank you for the review, I enjoyed it, as always.

    Happy Monday,
    Marianne from Let's Read

  2. Please let me know what you think of it if you do read it. The only tiny exception I had to the book was that the author referred to German food as bland. He's never had my mother's cooking! I love German food. It's flavorful and delicious!

  3. Loved the book review, I look forward to reading this book. But even more I enjoyed seeing your new little Grandaughter. She looks like a doll, so cute! Perhaps even perfect. LOL OK I might be a bit bias... I'm her Great Auntie & proud of it!!! :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fabulous New Little Free Library in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Little Free Library in Tree Stump in Coeur d’Alene, ID

Yesterday, my sister sent me a link to an article about a woman in Coeur d'Alene who turned a 100-year-old tree stump into a Little Free Library and I just had to see it for myself. The article stated that the tree was dying, rotting on the inside, so they had to have it removed. When some people have trees cut down they leave a large section to turn into wood sculptures. I love to see the works of art that are created from those stumps. 
But this stump takes the cake. Instead of a sculpture, owner and artist, Sharalee Armitage Howard, turned her tree stump into the most magnificent Little Free Library I’ve ever seen!  
The library was not yet listed on the map, so the search was on. Carefully viewing the video, I tried to narrow down where the house was located. Then I enlisted my husband’s help to search with me and we found it on the first street we turned down. It’s hard to miss.  This fabulous library is big.  It’s not just …

Little Free Libraries, Coeur d'Alene, ID Update

Take a Book, Leave a Book – Coeur d’Alene, ID Update Take a book, leave a book—that’s what the Little Free Libraries are all about—sharing books. It seems like these libraries are popping up like popcorn in Coeur d’Alene!  I just found four more. How exciting!  (Click here to see original post) 317 W. Mill Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID.  This library is awesome and my photo doesn't do it justice.  It matches the beautiful house and the topper is that the house and library have matching whimsical pine cone rain chains hanging from them! The library has a nice selection of books, and there's a bench right next to it.  Here’s what steward, Kim, wrote about her library on the Little Free Library map locator:
Besides brushing my teeth, reading is the only thing I do every day. I have an extensive personal library and have always delighted in sharing books with others, so becoming an LFL Steward was the next right thing. My partner, Tom, and I bought and have been renovating the house in whi…

Tribute to Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning Author Pearl S. Buck