Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Good American: BlogHer Book Club Review

As the daughter of immigrants, I've always been a sucker for fiction about US immigrants.  I was pretty excited to get the chance to review Alex George's historical fiction novel, A Good American.

It started out great, with the storyline focusing on two people coming to the US for the first time in 1903. I don't know much about German immigration to the US so it was a fascinating read.  The first half of the book was fantastic and I read it in a day (again while nursing The Baby).

But right around the time one of the main characters died, so did my enthusiasm for this book. I had to force myself to finish it. It wasn't *bad*, but I just didn't care as much about the huge cast of not-as-well-developed characters that followed after the original couple had been drawn so carefully.  The latter half of the book jumped across several storylines which made it hard to really get absorbed in any one.

The author foreshadowed a future event in the last sentence of most chapters. At first it was charming, but it soon became annoying and distracting (just tell me, already!).

As far as historical fiction family novels go, there was a LOT of action and drama. Lots of dying, and dramatic leave-takings.  It was too much, like one of those movies that's several car chases interspersed with a tiny bit of plot.

The first half was good enough that I think it's worth a read, but I wouldn't displace any books on your must-read pile for it.

I was compensated for this review by BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

5 comments:

  1. I can't read books where a main character dies. I end up throwing the book at the wall. When I read I want the story to be happy and dreamy! x

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    1. oh heck yeah, me too! I also like my movies to be that way. maybe even more so than books.

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  2. Life is too short to force yourself to finish a book you aren't enjoying. Just putting that out there! That's one of the benefits of no longer being in school.

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    1. Oh yeah, I totally agree. In this case, I had to finish it though as I committed to reviewing it :) But I liked the beginning enough to feel like it was OK to finish it anyway. (Not true of the last book I read for them, though.)

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  3. It's hard for me to put a book down once I start reading it, even if it's not so great! Of course I have been reading some books for years, to the point every time I pick them up I have to start over. LoL!! Inevitably I always lay them back down for a later date. Although I did just recently pick up a book that I had put down years ago and restarted it and I've made it past the first 4 chapters and it might actually turn into a good read this time!

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