How to Love an American Man by Kristine Gasbarre has been on my to-read list for quite a while. The writer and the premise of the book is based on my hometown, so I was curious to see what this lovely woman had to say.
The book starts out with a very picturesque description of the passing away of her Grandfather, a male figure whom she looked up to ever since she can remember. She bases her desires for what she is looking for in a husband after this gentleman. As the events unfold, some time to relax, reset and refresh back at home is what she needs…and finds that her widowed Grandmother needs her just as much, if not more so. Through her time spent with her Grandma, she finds little antidotes that made a successful marriage for her grandparents.
Upon returning home and single, her parents urge her to reach out to contact a local doctor who is also single. There is some chemistry there. The book then walks you through their year long courtship and what Kristine learns through time spent with her Grandmother and her “hands on” learning at love.
It took me 4 chapters to finally get into the book. As soon as I got into it, I started to find the length at which this story moved to be too long winded. I was frustrated with how she let the doctor treat her and tug her feelings around. This doctor read as a narcissist, not someone whom you’d spend the rest of your life with. I also wished that more dialog between Kristine and Grandma happened so you really got to know Grandma through her own words and stories, not how Kristine read her Grandma to be in spending time with her.
It took 234 pages to finally get to this gem:
“…But that sets the bar for my behavior sky-high. I’ve learned from Grandma that if I want to be regarded as someone who’s intelligent, respectable, and top-shelf, then that’s exactly the person I need to be. I teach the world how to treat me by the way I treat myself, and the way I present myself.”
Kristine seems to struggle with giving it all too soon physically while guarding her heart, or wearing her heart on her sleeve and keeping the chastity belt on. The end of the book leaves room for a sequel. If I happened upon the book, I would pick it up just to be nosy and see where the world leads Kristine and her love life. I really wanted to love this book, and it left me disappointed. It has been compared to Eat, Pray, Love…of which I loved the first part but couldn’t get into the rest of it and quickly put it down. :/
I was sad to learn that Kristine had recently lost her Grandmother as well. I’m sure this book is even more dear to her heart with the passing of her Grandmother. I believe this book would be a great read for her female cousins on the same side of the family as well.
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