"A beautifully written novel, laced with history and music." --Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station ElevenA LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A BOOKPAGE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Everything he'd seen had been unimaginably different from the dry, dour streets of home, and to his surprise he was not sorry in the slightest. He was smitten by the beguiling otherness of it all.
And so began my grandfather's rapturous love affair with America--an affair that would continue until the day he died.
This is the story of the Meisenheimer family, told by James, a third-generation American living in Beatrice, Missouri. It's where his German grandparents--Frederick and Jette--found themselves after journeying across the turbulent Atlantic, fording the flood-swollen Mississippi, and being brought to a sudden halt by the broken water of the pregnant Jette.
A Good American tells of Jette's dogged determination to feed a town sauerkraut and soul food; the loves and losses of her children, Joseph and Rosa; and the precocious voices of James and his brothers, sometimes raised in discord...sometimes in perfect harmony.
But above all, A Good American is about the music in Frederick's heart, a song that began as an aria, was jazzed by ragtime, and became an anthem of love for his adopted country that the family still hears to this day.
This item is Non-Returnable
- ISBN-13: 9780425253175
- ISBN-10: 0425253171
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
- Publish Date: February 2013
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
- Page Count: 448
- Reading Level: Ages 18-UP
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In his sweeping, multi-generational saga, A Good American, Alex George tells the unforgettable story of a young immigrant couple and the life that unfolds for them in America. In the early 1900s, Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer leave Germany and settle in Beatrice, Missouri, putting down roots that will endure for years to come. When World War I arrives, Frederick signs up to do his part. Jette misses Germany but has the duties of motherhood to distract her, as she looks after their son, Joseph, and daughter, Rosa. Together, the Meisenheimers weather the Great Depression and World War II and bear witness to other landmark moments in our country’s history. Their own development as immigrants takes on extra poignance against the backdrop of these larger-than-life events. Narrated by Frederick’s grandson, James, this big-hearted book is a tribute to the fortitude of family and tradition. George, an Englishman who moved to Missouri a decade ago, has imbued the story with wonderful detail, bringing America’s past to life in a way that feels fresh while delivering an intimate, deeply human portrait of the ties that bind us all.