BlogHer Book Review: A Good American


How often do you get a chance to read while at home with the kids? If you said, “Oh, all the time,” I envy you.

Mike always says to me when I’m bored, “Why don’t you read a book?”

Yes, I will read a book while Ellen falls head first into a basket, wipes her boogers on the door wall and throws my phone in the garbage can.

Anyway, one reason I really love being part of the BlogHer Book Club is that I am forced to read really good books. They recently sent me A Good American by Alex George to review, and yes, all of my opinions are my own. As a matter of fact, here they are:


When I started this book, I thought for sure it was going to be one of my all-time favorites. I am super picky about what I call a favorite. I don’t have a “type” of book I like to read because that would mean that I would be reading similar books all the time. That sounds boring to me. Instead, I like books on topics that I have never read about before. And, this book fits the bill: it is about two lovers who take the leap to move to America and start building their lives and family in their new country.

If you’re an American, I’m sure somewhere in your family’s history you have a story kind of like this. Jette, Frederick and their future generations go through what you would expect: love, loss, finding jobs, finding community, etc.

But, it’s the lyrical way this book is written that really caught me. Over and over I found myself wondering how George was able to craft each sentence to be so musical and rhapsodic.


Ok, I said before that I thought it was going to be one of my all-time favorites. And you know, I did enjoy it a whole lot. I will make Mike read it more than likely. I might even save it. I only save my faves. But, one thing kind of bothered me enough to take pause.

The narrator, Frederick’s grandson begins telling his own story about 3/4 way through the book. The main focus of half of his story is his pubescent fantasies and the ways he takes on to deal with them. I’ll just leave it at that. It’s not terribly graphic, but I just found it a tad repulsive and unecessary. Maybe you’ll feel different?

Aside from that, this book is, yes, one of my favey faves. One of the best BlogHer has ever sent me.


So, I’ll leave you with a few quotes from the book that made me think the most. You can tell me your thoughts on them, or just read the book yourself and come chit chat with me later. Obviously some of these quotes will give away some plot details. I will keep the speakers’ names out. But, I will invoke the Spoiler Alert.

“‘I know many of you disagree with me. That is your right. But I beg you, in the name of the freedoms that my husband died for – let me say what I have to say.'”
“[He] listened to their stories of paternal suffering with growing anxiety. He wanted to hear about the hope, the unending parade of love, all that, but his mischievous customers continued to serve up a diet of unremitting gloom about the trials that awaited him.”
“‘You’ll leave…And then one day you’ll come back, and everything that you once loved about the place will drive you a bit crazy.'”
“I had come to define myself, at least in part, by my hopeless love for her, and her absence threatened to unravel my completely.”
“As a writer, I think that the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are two of the most exciting and inspiring documents ever written. The principles and beliefs upon which this country was founded are unimpeachable.”


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