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How to Love an American Man: A True Story Paperback – August 16, 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Gasbarre’s reflections should resonate with many readers…including those who enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (Booklist)

“A beautifully written, heartfelt gem. Disguised as a romance, it is actually a story of familial bonds, personal growth and faith.” (Lisa Oz, New York Times bestselling author and radio host)

“Gasbarre writes with style, grace and plenty of humor, maintaining a perfect balance. Hers is a genuine quest. Up close and personal, here is a bright light on the road to Love” (Alphie McCourt)

The author’s treatment of the central conflict that drives the book-the quintessentially modern female quandary of finding lasting love while staying true to personal ambitions-comes across with an integrity and veracity women readers will undoubtedly appreciate…Chick-lit-alicious.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Kristine Gasbarre is a modern-day Jane Austen ... with sparkling wit, this spunky heroine faces modern women’s search for love..That’s where her grandmother comes in, gently schooling her in the art of courtship and, ultimately, identity. A page-turner that leaves you guessing until the very end.” (Jean Twenge, Ph.D., author of Generation Me and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic)

“How to Love an American Man is fresh, funny, and original. Kristine Gasbarre has written a love story without borders. Dive in and enjoy!” (Adriana TrigianiAdriana TrigianiAdriana TrigianiAdriana TrigianiAdriana TrigianiAdriana TrigianiAdriana Trigiani)

From the Back Cover

An endearing and unforgettable memoir of love, self-discovery, and enduring, old-fashioned values

Kristine Gasbarre made a New York career of dating driven, inaccessible men. When she realizes her love life will never result in happiness if she continues on the same path, she makes a big decision—relocating to Italy to discover her roots and find out what defines her adoring grandpa. But upon receiving the news of his sudden passing, she is lured away.

With nowhere left to go, Krissy returns to her small hometown for the first time in a decade to help care for her grandmother—a refined, private matriarch suf?fering from early dementia along with the loss of her husband. In her reluctant agreement to share the nearly lost love stories and transformative lessons from her rich sixty-year marriage, Krissy’s grandma becomes the one of?fering comfort as she coaches her granddaughter through the fear of loving. Grandma’s unapologetic femininity and secret giving spirit opens Krissy’s eyes about relationships, teaching her the single most important requisite for loving a man: first a woman has to learn the power of her own inner beauty.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061997390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061997396
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,526,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Here's the problem I found with this book: the description/synopsis makes it sound AWESOME! And then you get into it, and you realize, it's not awesome.

Before I get into the bad about this book, I do want to say that Kristine's writing in the beginning was great. The first 30 pages were hard for me to read because they were so emotional. Kristine did a great job there. But after those first 30 pages...

It's supposed to be about the lessons Kristine learns from her grandmother, right? And about her own grandparents' love and their relationship and how it developed. So I was expecting details. Less of "Grandma explained to me why they loved each other." I would have really liked to read actual stories - the Grandma's dialogue was almost nonexistent in this book.

That was another one of my issues. There's very little dialogue. It's mostly Kristine explaining what happened or what was going on, and in the end it came off like I read a summary about a book instead of a book. She learns all of one lesson from her grandma, and it is repeated over and over again throughout the book to the point where it gets really annoying. And it's nothing new or groundbreaking (but I won't review that part since it could be considered a spoiler.)

I did not think Kristine's relationship with her grandma was super heartwarming. Sure, she drives her grandma around and takes her to lunch. But she appears to be annoyed about it the entire time. At some points she appears to treat her grandma like an inconvenience.

I also thought Kristine's relationships with Chris and with Tucker were total crap. Her fling with Tucker seemed gross and unreal to me from the beginning - I didn't understand the attraction there at all. And Chris was a real...jerk.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had to read this book for book club and I have to say it is definitely not worth your time. While the language itself was lovely, the overall message and theme was immature and not very well conceived. I kept hoping it would get better but it never did. It was way longer than it needed to be and repeated the same issue over and over again. You wanted to bang your head against the wall after she KEPT pointing out her heart ache, then in case you didn't get the memo she actually wrote something along the lines of "I had a broken heart." I found the allusions and references in the novel very sophomoric.

Also, the connection she was trying to make of her grandmother grieving over her grandfather's death comparable to her break up was unfathomable and self absorbed. There was no real crescendo or movement in the book- it was like one long magazine article from Cosmo. The best way I can describe the book is a glorified "what I did last summer" essay mixed with a self help book, written by someone without expertise.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be, as other reviewers have stated, extremely sophomoric and self absorbed. I found myself repeatedly cringing when reading about the way this dreamy doctor behaved and treated the author not to mention the way she justified it and went back for more. To me, tone of this relationship came across as oppressively chauvinistic, condescending and diminishing. No woman should let a man treat her this way, American or otherwise. Disappointing!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When purchasing a book from a reputed publisher, I thought you could expect to find someone who knows how to write, adequate editing, and at least some sort of narrative that you can be absorbed by. WRONG. This book is full of clumsy writing, time-worn cliches, misused words (on page 23 she uses 'listless' when she clearly meant 'restless'), bad organization, repetition and must I go on? It did, as another reviewer wrote, read like the diary of a not-very-mature 17 year old. I had to wonder, where does this woman get published? (She's supposed to be a freelance writer.) Not only that, but how did she get published? Also, is this the standard of technical expertise that we can expect from the younger generation, particularly a woman with a master's degree in media studies? Any message embedded in this book was lost due to the amateurish writing and seemingly absent editing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whether or not you choose to love an American man, I highly recommend Kristine Gasbarre's memoir titled quite simply How to Love an American Man, about a woman in her late twenties who engages in one of the sincerest dialogues with her recently widowed grandmother to unearth the secrets of their 60 year marriage.

An independent woman who lived in New York City, then lived in Milan, Kristine epitomizes the freedom women can obtain all on their own in today's world. However, the love of her life is something she has still to find and very much is seeking.

Returning to live in her small hometown with her family after her beloved grandfather's death, she provides comfort to her mourning grandmother who while clearly very strong is learning how to live a new life with a broken heart due to the loss of her life partner.

The book reads like a fictional book as its protagonist's inner thoughts take us through the highs of meeting the bachelor that her hometown can't seem to get enough of and the heart wrenching moments of frustration as she witnesses her grandmother adjusting to her new life.

Initially I was drawn to this book after reading a review of it in The Huffington Post, but then I became weary that it would be about how to "get a man" (as the title directly suggests) which is something that isn't healthy in any form as it requires the woman to adapt and change who she is. So after reading the first chapter and nearly bawling in public as I did so (my Twitter followers can attest), I read a bit trepidatiously.
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