A daughter of Jewish refugees searches for love and a spiritual home in this novel by the National Book Award-nominated author of Difficult Women.Brought up in a secular household on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Nancy Green knows suspiciously little about her parents’ past. She knows they escaped Germany, avoiding the fate of so many of their fellow Jews during World War IA daughter of Jewish refugees searches for love and a spiritual home in this novel by the National Book Award-nominated author of Difficult Women.Brought up in a secular household on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Nancy Green knows suspiciously little about her parents’ past. She knows they escaped Germany, avoiding the fate of so many of their fellow Jews during World War II, but the few family heirlooms they brought to the United States are reminders of a lost life that, for Nancy, remains shrouded in mystery. She seeks connection and a sense of belonging, a relationship in which she can find some sort of religious fulfillment.Unfortunately, Nancy’s first encounter is with a Hasidic man who, dissatisfied with Judaism, has taken vows to become a monk. Then, while studying English literature in Boston, she meets a Catholic boy who captures her interest, but he’s desperate to escape his overbearing mother and the clutches of the Church.After a devastating breakup, Nancy finally settles down with a husband whose background and beliefs seem at least similar to her own. Perhaps now she’ll stop yearning for something more, and trade volatility and heartbreak for a sensible, practical life. But forcing a fit—into a society, a sect, a family, or even a marriage—isn’t easy for anyone, and Nancy still has a long way to travel before she finds her true home.From an acclaimed author of both fiction and memoirs, including National Book Award finalist The Family, American Stranger is a wise and insightful story about the search for identity, and how our real lives are far more complex than our labels....
|Number of Pages||:||225 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
American Stranger Reviews
Not my cup of tea, had to drag myself to read it. Would not recommend.
https://cavebookreviews.blogspot.com/David Plante has written a coming of age novel that covers many aspects of American life. The protagonist, Nancy Gold, is the daughter of prosperous Jewish immigrants from Germany. Nancy's parents left Berlin as soon as Nazism began to rise and found a good life in New York on the Upper East Side.Nancy is an only child, very close to her parents. She is doing a master's degree in literature at Boston University. During the novel, she becomes involved with three men of different religions, Aaron, a Hasidic Jew who is converting to Catholicism, Yvon a French Canadian American who is Catholic, and Tim, an Egyptian Jewish man living London. Nancy is a quiet, thoughtful, and rather passive young woman who falls into relationships of varying romantic degrees with the three men. She is curious about their connection to their religion. Nancy is most connected to Henry James, the author she is studying in her graduate program. Nancy's experiences in New York, Boston, and London are reminiscent of Henry James's novels. Pathos is the tone of this story, and one must feel for Nancy and her quests to find meaning and love. I wanted so much for this character to discover her right soul mate, to find herself and to love that self. She deserved happiness as did most of Henry James's characters.Thank you, NetGalley, David Plante, and Open Road Media/Delphinium Books (first published January 1st, 2011) for the new English version of this novel.
Nancy Green was the daughter of secular Jewish parents. Her parents had escaped from Germany and made a life in New York. However they never told Nancy anything about their history, just the fact that there were no surviving relatives.The parents were successful and did their best to provide Nancy with a comfortable lifestyle. However Nancy had a dark side and seemed to looking for something more in her life. First she met Aaron, a Hasidic Jewish man who had converted to Catholicism. She felt attracted to him but realized that his plans to become a monk would not allow for a relationship between the two. Then she met Yvon, the childlike French Canadian who was very attached to his depressed mother. She and Yvon, both students at Boston U, soon moved in together and become passionate lovers. Every weekend Yvon felt the need to return to his French village in Providence and attend church with his mother. The relationship ended tragically. Finally she met and married Tim, an Egyptian Jew living in London. Tim, a man with a violent streak, was insistent on fathering children but after 3 miscarriages, it became obvious that Nancy could not bear them. The end of this story found a emotionally drained Nancy still searching for someone who seems to elude her.I enjoyed the story, especially the part where she discovers how superficial British society can be. I was not happy with the ending and was surprised that this short book ended that way.
NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of American Stranger. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.When Nancy Green's parents secured passage from Germany to New York, they were able to escape the fate of many of their fellow Jews. Raising their daughter in the secular way, Nancy is now drawn to men who seek both religious fulfillment and personal identity. Her three relationships span different religions and diverse areas of the world, often leaving Nancy with a yearning for something more.I found American Stranger to having challenges in the writing style and format, with flat and uninspired characters. Nancy's quest to find a sense of belonging seemed to be tied to her relationship status and I never got the feeling that she was serious about personal fulfillment. American Stranger is not a book that I would recommend to other readers because, although it is relatively short, it is extremely hard to get through. This clearly was not the book for me, as its lack of direction and disengaged characters did not endear me to it.
Nancy Green, the daughter of Jewish immigrants to New York, is drawn to complicated men who are as much searchers for identity and belief as she is. Each of the three we meet in this book challenges Nancy in different ways. The first is a Hasidic Jew who has converted to Catholicism and wants to be a monk, the second is a Catholic unable to escape the clutches of his mother, and the third an Egyptian Jew who seems to have much in common with Nancy but after their marriage is no better than the others at supplying what Nancy wants and needs. Nancy’s search for spiritual fulfilment, happiness, identity and meaning is played out through these relationships and quite honestly I found it all a bit tedious. This is an intellectual, a cerebral book, all head and little heart, and I found the characters hard to identify with. Nancy remains a stranger in her own world and in mine. An interesting but ultimately unengaging novel.
Nancy is a young woman, living and studying in Boston. She's from a fairly well to do Jewish family in New York. The book follows her throughout her early twenties, from Boston to New York to England. *sigh.... this book is fairly boring. Maybe this is controversial, but I often find that men writing books with women as the lead characters have a difficult time understanding the true pain of being a women, struggling through relationships. Nancy could have been a complicated and interesting character, but I found her annoying and bored. The writing is wonderful, but the story drags too long. Nancy's search for a place and a person feel empty and lacking real emotion. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
American Stranger was timeless and beautifully written. The main character, Nancy Green, is the daughter of Holocaust survivors and it followers her struggle to navigate in American life and to find her own identity. I loved the rich culture and backgrounds of those Green encounters and the internal conflict she tries to overcome. The plot was consistent and evenly paced, but I think I would have wanted more action or more active participation from Green, at least. As a main character, I loved her flaws and her sentimentality. I loved the psychology behind it all, but felt life was happening to her - as if she were a leaf to the wind. That aside, however, I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it.