The story of Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer and their offspring is one of love and perseverance. Many of us have heard similar stories from our ancestors who made the long crossing of the Atlantic in search of a new life. All of them came together doing the best they could with what they had. Some, like Frederick, grew a love for their adopted homeland. Being a good American and fitting in became his life's ambition. Others, like Jette, never really felt at peace in their strange surroundings. Hers was a fish out of water tale. And yet both of them made their way in a strange land, clinging to hope and to each other, along with the music that drew them together.
I thoroughly enjoyed "A Good American", a tale that used the developing history of a fledgling nation as a backdrop. I loved the characters, connecting deeply with all of them. Except maybe Stefan. I didn't really know where that was going until the end, and then I felt like his storyline was kind of an afterthought. I noticed a lot of the reviews on the back cover referred to "A Good American" as funny. I didn't get that. I loved the story, was moved by the struggles and was even misty eyed in public (I do my reading on the subway) in a few spots. But I would not characterize it as "funny." That said, I would still recommend it as an entertaining read for anyone, but especially for fans of period pieces.
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This is a compensated review as part of the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions expressed are my own.
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