the next good book

Real Americans

By Rachel Khong

9/10
(9/10)

395 pages

What’s it about?

This novel weaves two separate families (through three generations) together to form a cohesive story.  The Chen’s have immigrated from China to escape Mao’s Cultural Revolution.  They are both geneticists that long to further science.  The Maier family have been in America for generations and are heirs to the Maier pharmaceutical fortune.  They also wish to see Science progress.  So when Lily Chen meets Matthew Maier who knows what to expect?

What did it make me think about?

Choices.

Should I read it?

I fell in love with Rachel Khong’s writing about three pages into “Goodbye Vitamin”.  Her characters are so vivid and so well-imagined.  They do not always follow the path you envision- but they sure make for interesting stories.  She manages to take present day issues and weave them seamlessly into her stories.  It is much easier to step back and consider these issues from the character’s perspective.   I am so happy to see her getting some hype for her latest book.  “Real Americans” is already on my list for favorites of 2024.  If you love a good family story with depth- then pick this one up.

Quote-

“Once she had believed that connection meant sameness, consensus, harmony.  Having everything in common.  And now she understood that the opposite was true: that connection was more valuable- more remarkable- for the fact of differences.  Friendship didn’t require blunting the richness of yourself to find common ground.  Sometimes it was that, but it was also appreciating another person, in all their particularity.”

What’s it about?

This novel weaves two separate families (through three generations) together to form a cohesive story.  The Chen’s have immigrated from China to escape Mao’s Cultural Revolution.  They are both geneticists that long to further science.  The Maier family have been in America for generations and are heirs to the Maier pharmaceutical fortune.  They also wish to see Science progress.  So when Lily Chen meets Matthew Maier who knows what to expect?

What did it make me think about?

Choices.

Should I read it?

I fell in love with Rachel Khong’s writing about three pages into “Goodbye Vitamin”.  Her characters are so vivid and so well-imagined.  They do not always follow the path you envision- but they sure make for interesting stories.  She manages to take present day issues and weave them seamlessly into her stories.  It is much easier to step back and consider these issues from the character’s perspective.   I am so happy to see her getting some hype for her latest book.  “Real Americans” is already on my list for favorites of 2024.  If you love a good family story with depth- then pick this one up.

Quote-

“Once she had believed that connection meant sameness, consensus, harmony.  Having everything in common.  And now she understood that the opposite was true: that connection was more valuable- more remarkable- for the fact of differences.  Friendship didn’t require blunting the richness of yourself to find common ground.  Sometimes it was that, but it was also appreciating another person, in all their particularity.”

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