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The English American by Alison Larkin

The English American

by Alison Larkin

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Beautiful things happen in the library. One of my favorite hobbies is perusing the stacks at random, searching for bits of gold that stand out amongst the copper. And, once again, I found one. The English American is the story of a woman who learns to accept herself, those around her, and, most of all, the power of love. If you are an American who enjoys reading about England, or a Brit who likes reading about America, this is the book for you. ( )
  TRWhittier | May 31, 2014 |
Pippa Dunn, having been adopted by a Bristish couple in her infancy, feels deeply the ways in which she differs from family and friends. Ultimately locating her birth parents, she discovers she is actually an Georgian redneck with a British accent. Underlying issues of identity, nurtue vs. nature, and nationality are hadnled with a light, deft touch, humor and humanity. There is a set piece at a funeral which had me absolutely in stitches. This book came out of Larkin's semi-autobrtiographical one-woman comefy sketch. I had the pleasure of attending a readingh at the Berkshire Wordfest this past fall. My friend bought the audiobook, which she thought was hilarious. Perhaps because I could hear Larkin's voice in my head, I found it equally so. Print or audio, I don't think you can go wrong. ( )
  michigantrumpet | Oct 16, 2012 |
I've had this book in my audio library for at least five years. I'm not sure why I put off listening to it for so long . . . maybe because it sounded a bit chick lit-ish, or maybe because of the rather squeaky chick lit-ish voice of the reader, the author, Alison Larkin. So was it chick lit? Yes--and no. Pippa Dunn=e is a 28-year old single woman looking for love and looking for herself. It's her inability ot commit that leads Pippa, an adoptee, in search of her birth parents: she has abandoned a series of good relationships when she fears that her partner will reject her.

Pippa has know since she was 10 that she was adopted but knows nothing about her birth parents. The novel takes us through her journey: the complicated communications with the adoption agency, which is bound by law to withhold information; the arrival of a letter from her birth mother, written as she was being given up for adoption; the negotiations of an attorney who finally puts her in touch with her birth mother--an American! Eventually, Pippa moves to America to learn more about herself and her parents--and she gets more than she ever expected. In the course of her journey, she begins to question her own identity but ultimately finds herself.

This isn't the type of book I would normally read, but I did enjoy it. It's nice to take a break from more serious books every now and then. ( )
1 vote Cariola | Feb 6, 2012 |
Pippa decides it's time to figure out who she really is -- knowing she's adopted, she notices all the ways she's different from her English family. So she hunts down her American birth parents and actually moves to New York to work for her birth mother. While the initial impressions are favorable (her birth father is hilarious in some ways) eventually truth overcomes idealism. For a good part of a year, Pippa lets just about everyone she meets in America take advantage of her, but a series of crises opens her eyes, and she finds out where she really belongs. I liked Pippa, she is funny and warm. Her interior conversations, largely focused on the differences between life in England and America, show her intelligence and humor. I found the book suffered from a slow pace (until the last 20 pages when all of a sudden everything is resolved). Easy read. ( )
  TerriBooks | Aug 18, 2010 |
Pippa Dunn has always known she was adopted, so when she decides to find her birth parents it is not to replace her family but to learn more about her own identity. After locating her birth mother, she travels to the US to meet her and realises that there is more to the world than the way she was brought up and the small town in which her British parents live. Soon, however, she comes to understand that just because something is new doesn't make it better. Entertaining. ( )
  Elishibai | Jun 25, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 141655159X, Hardcover)

Adopted at birth into a loving, tidy family, charming, chronically untidy Pippa Dunn hopes that finding her birth parents will help her understand why she's so different from everyone she knows - and somehow cure her of her inability to trust even the most devoted of men. She meets her untidy, creative birth mother in Georgia, her charismatic birth father in Washington DC - and moves to New York to be near them, while pursuing an exciting new career. At the same time, she re-connects with a man she hardly knows, who also seems to understand her and sends her seductive emails from around the world. She's found her 'self' and everything she thought she wanted. Or has she?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Based on her critically-acclaimed one-woman comedy show of the same name, Alison Larkin plumbs her personal history to create a hilarious, poignant, and compulsively readable first novel about nature versus nurture.

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