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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Love an American Man...Review

About the book:
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 suffering 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 offering 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.

I have really mixed feelings about this book and how to write the review..  The synopsis and premise for this memoir sounded enthralling and I was anxious to read it, imagining a rich story of maternal family relationships.  Instead, it was shallow and self-serving.

After starting it, I had to force myself to pick it up, as it was very easy to set aside and forget about it.

While this is a memoir, I really didn't like Krissy.  I didn't care about her.  Her time in Italy was almost written as an afterthought and burdened with her obsession over a man.  Her romances and the men in her life were shallow, not inspiring, with her neediness overshadowing everything. I'm a happily married 40 something woman.  Perhaps, if I was single and unmarried, I could have related to Krissy and her romantic frustrations more, but I honestly don't think so, because I was a happy, content and single 29 year old woman when I finally met and married my husband.

As Krissy recounted her grandfather's death, I cried, as it brought back so much of when my father died.  I could relate to Krissy's loss and pain.  I have no doubts that her grandfather was an important figure in her life and I appreciated the relationship she had with her grandmother and her desire to be like her. From her grandma, Krissy learns to appreciate herself and the qualities that make a woman who she is.  That was the best part about the book and its most redeeming feature: Krissy's relationship with her grandmother. 

While not a book I related to, it is one that will resonate with others, and you can see more positive reviews from some of the blogs listed below.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Kristine Gasbarre here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.

Tuesday, August 16th: nomadreader
Wednesday, August 17th: Rundpinne
Thursday, August 18th: Life In Review
Monday, August 22nd: BookNAround
Tuesday, August 23rd: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 24th: Library of Clean Reads
Thursday, August 25th: Teresa’s Reading Corner
Monday, August 29th: Crazy for Books
Tuesday, August 30th: StephTheBookworm
Wednesday, August 31st: Books Like Breathing
Thursday, September 1st: Peeking Between the Pages

Read 8/11

* *
2/5 Stars


  1. You're right, the blurb for this book sounds wonderful. After reading your review, though, I think I will pass on it. Thanks for the review!

  2. Too bad you couldn't relate to Krissy, because the book's description does sound good.

  3. Darn, I'm sorry you didn't end up enjoying this one. Hopefully your next read will be a better fit.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.