Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Good American Book Review

I picked up "A Good American" at the library just because of the cover.  I do that quite a bit.  I never agreed with the quote "Don't judge a book by it's cover".  If the cover catches my eye, more than likely I will enjoy the book, which in this case, is true again.

The book begins in Germany in 1904 with Frederick and Jette falling in love, getting pregnant and leaving Germany because of Jette's disapproving mother.  I can't imagine boarding a boat bound for New Orleans, pregnant, with just my husband and not knowing what lies ahead.

When they land in New Orleans, they end up taking another ship up the Mississippi to Missouri.

They end up raising a family in Beatrice, Missouri.  Frederick was so excited to be in America, Jette, not so much.

Their story is narrated by their grandson, James, and covers all the trials and tribulations of the Meisenheimer family and the many people they encounter during their lives.  There were some funny moments and very sad moments.  Overall, just a great book that could have been written about any of our ancestors who immigrated to America. 

This story really made me think of the hard sacrifices our ancestors made.  Leaving the land, family and friends they knew to land in a country they knew nothing about, other than what they may have read from letters of family and friends already living in America.  I can only guess that some of those letters were exaggerated a little bit to entice them to follow.

Overall it is still true today, as many people arrive in America every day looking forward to their dream of a "better life".

I hope you will read the book and let me know what you think.

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