Friday, February 17, 2012

Debut Spotlight: A Good American by Alex George




Goodreads Description:

An uplifting novel about the families we create and the places we call home.


It is 1904. When Frederick and Jette must flee her disapproving mother, where better to go than America, the land of the new? Originally set to board a boat to New York, at the last minute, they take one destined for New Orleans instead (""What's the difference? They're both new""), and later find themselves, more by chance than by design, in the small town of Beatrice, Missouri. Not speaking a word of English, they embark on their new life together.

Beatrice is populated with unforgettable characters: a jazz trumpeter from the Big Easy who cooks a mean gumbo, a teenage boy trapped in the body of a giant, a pretty schoolteacher who helps the young men in town learn about a lot more than just music, a minister who believes he has witnessed the Second Coming of Christ, and a malevolent, bicycle-riding dwarf.

"A Good American" is narrated by Frederick and Jette's grandson, James, who, in telling his ancestors' story, comes to realize he doesn't know his own story at all. From bare-knuckle prizefighting and Prohibition to sweet barbershop harmonies, the Kennedy assassination, and beyond, James's family is caught up in the sweep of history. Each new generation discovers afresh what it means to be an American. And, in the process, Frederick and Jette's progeny sometimes discover more about themselves than they had bargained for.

Poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, "A Good American" is a novel about being an outsider-in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes even in your own family. It is a universal story about our search for home.



12 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this book when I read it a few weeks ago! I laughed, I cried, I closed the book with a contented sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a lot of American history is in this one so I am sure I would enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This one sounds like it has a great and diverse cast of characters.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This one looks like a great read! Love a book with great characters.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like my kind of book!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I haven't heard of this book before, but I love the idea of a book about family and finding your home:) Love a book that can be both funny and heartbreaking as well, I enjoy experiencing a broad range of emotions while reading. Thanks for the recommendation Jennifer!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am going to be reading this one soon, and I can't wait ti get started! It sounds like such a great read, and I have heard many say that it's just excellent. I hope that you enjoy it too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm hearing nothing but good things about this one. Honestly, though, I'm getting really tired of all of Putnam Books tweets about it and was just about to write it off because I was so annoyed by them. You've restored my interest!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This sounds really awesome. I MUST get my hands on it sometime -- nice review.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This sounds great! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really enjoyed reading this one. It's definitely you I think you'll enjoy, and if you haven't picked it up yet I think you should check it out soon!

    ReplyDelete