A GOOD AMERICAN by Alex George

Frederick and Jette leave Germany in 1904 for America. They are in love and are in need of a quick escape from Jette’s parents. In their haste, they book passage to New Orleans (instead of New York) because it is the fastest way out of Germany. Upon landing on American soil, they head for Missouri and accidentally find a small town full of German Americans called Beatrice and that is where they make a home. This novel is the story of four generations of one family living in a small town with the backdrop of major historical events.

Alex George does a superb job of creating characters that we care about and relate to. He gives us the residents of Beatrice and the message is everyone has a story to tell. One thing that I appreciated is that the historical timeline did not thrust itself at the story, the famous events became part of the lives of these people. George also does a good job making a case for the struggles that immigrants have in moving to a new country. Frederick is crazy for anything American and Jette holds onto her German past. As an example, he wants to cook only “American” food and she cooks nothing but German meals. They are on different speeds in the way they face life and that makes for interesting storytelling.

If you are looking for a story that will not stress you out, this is the book for you. It is a very smooth read and it grabs and holds your attention. There are plenty of secrets in this story, just like in any family, and they are revealed as you continue to get caught up in the drama.  I hate to call this a family saga, because that limits how I really want to describe it. It is a fantastic novel that completely entertains you and offers a very satisfying end.

Recommended reading: I recently read a fantastic book about how a parent has dealt with a mental health crisis with his daughter. It is a personal story but it also can be a useful tool for those who work with children. I think it should be required reading for educators, mental health workers, doctors and yes, even parents. Ultimately, it is a powerful book about the determination of a father and his daughter to find some answers and to save a life. The book? WITNESS TO THE DARK My daughter’s troubled times a comedy of emotions by Bob Larsted.



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  • krunn7  On March 17, 2013 at 4:21 am

    I lost what I was writing so will start again. Both of your books sound like things I would love to read. Right now I am doing a weekly study from Diana Bass called Christianity For the Rest of Us. I only have 2 more weeks to try to study and read ahead of the joint discussion sessions. Then we will be taking our RV way back in the bush so I will have lots of time to read books in my hands. My connection to the Internet will be sporadic until Halloween when we come back to the village for the winter. So don’t delete me from your contacts as I will return. I am singing in the rain tonight as we are having our first soft Spring garden rejuvenating rain and the snow is all melted. .

  • Kristy  On March 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    you know i am always looking for a book that won’t stress me out 🙂

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