I am a sucker for a good immigrant story. I will be honest. Most immigrant stories I read are about Mexican families coming to America. This is because that is my family immigrant story. This book is about a family from Germany, immigrating to the United States and ending up in Beatrice, Missouri. I was afraid that a story about a German family would not have the same impact on me as Mexican family would. I was so wrong.
This first thing I can say about this book is to be prepared for a lot to happen. It feels like there is another life altering event on every page. When you are telling to story of 4 generations there is bound to be a lot of tears. Happy tears and of course sad tears. The story starts with Frederick and Jette, an young married couple fleeing Germany and Jette's disapproving parents. Although hesitant about the move at first, it is Frederick who falls hopelessly in love with America. Thanks to the early arrival of their first son mixed with the kindness of strangers Frederick and Jette settle down and plant roots in Beatrice, Missouri. In this small town, they raise 2 children and start their own restaurant business.
As the years go by this family that Jette and Frederick started begins to grow and blossom. With each new generation 2 love affairs continue to grow. A love for singing and a love for America. This family is forced to deal with more tragedy than one family should be allowed. The story is told by the 2nd grandson of Frederick and Jette. Through his stories we get to follow all the twists (and there are some big twists that I never saw coming!) and turns of 4 generations. We also see the restaurant evolve with the times. What starts off as a bar, becomes a German/creole restaurant, to a diner and eventually a Mexican restaurant!
What I really took away from this story is the idea that we all came from somewhere. Someone is our families immigrated to this country and fell in love with it and what it stood for. The immigrant story is so common and no matter where you immigrated from there are common threads. No matter where we came from, we came here to become Good Americans.
BlogHer is talking all about the book HERE . Head over and join in the conversation.