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An American Family

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The sprawling narrative of five siblings, born in the 1940's, beginning on the day John Kennedy was shot and ending on 9/11. Between these two iconic dates, we follow the fortunes, love affairs, marriages, divorces, successes and failures of the Perls, an immigrant Polish-Jewish family, from the Lower East Side of New York, to Long Island and beyond.

The oldest, Jackie -- a
Kindle Edition, 454 pages
Published March 25th 2012 (first published January 1st 2012)
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Ryan G
May 04, 2014 Ryan G rated it liked it
When I was given the opportunity to read a new Peter Lefcourt book, I jumped at the chance. Now granted, I've only read one of his books before, but that book is one that I've read countless times. I can't even remember the first time I read The Dreyfus Affair, but it was love at first read. I was enamored with the characters, the humor, and the way the author was able to write this compelling love story but make me laugh, cry, and regain my faith in my fellow man all at the same time. So when t ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Hira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Before I begin this review, I have to admit it, I have to come clean - I am a pretend, wannabe, counter-culture hipster who tends to be mistrusting of anything that comes out of Hollywood, except summer blockbuster movies (I mean, have you SEEN "The Avengers"!?!?) and the Hemsworth brothers (yum!). So naturally, I was apprehensive about reading this novel, given that I did not know very much about author Peter Lefcourt. So with that being said, I also confess to you...I was wrong, I was wrong, I ...more
Nov 08, 2012 L_manning rated it really liked it

When President Kennedy is assassinated, people across the United States were shocked. This is no different for the Perl family in Long Island. Spanning from the 1960's to 2011, this book tells the story of the Perl family. Nathan, the father, and his second wife Lillian are parents to 5 children. Jackie is a law student with a penchant for gambling and drinking. Mickey is the businessman, always looking for a way to make money. Elaine is in school becoming a teacher. Stephen feels like he doesn'
Jun 06, 2012 Joanne rated it really liked it
I love a novel that brings me into the heart of family drama, and An American Family does this for not just a short period of time, but spans at least a fifty year period. We follow the triumphs and trials of this Jewish family taking special note of happenings on the Thanksgiving and Passover Holidays.

Lefcourt did a wonderful job of taking us on a journey with this family, that will help you recall specific things during this time yourself. From a 17" Magnavox television to a cut and a perm cos
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jun 23, 2012 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
I love stories about families! The Perl family is a Jewish family living in and around New York City and the story covers from the early 60s to 2001. One cool thing is that the author used stories from his own family's history, which I loved. The focus of the story is definitely the Perl family but there is a ton of historical detail interwoven within the family's story. So even though I wouldn't call this book purely historical fiction, there are a lot of things that historical fiction lovers w ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Meet the Perl family...Nathan, Lillian, Jacob "Jackie", Michael, Elaine, Steven, and Bobbie. The day is Friday, November 22, 1963. This day will go down in history as one of the most memorable days in history. The day that President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. The Perl family can remember that day but life does go on. Eventually the Perl family survive the Vietnam War, Woodstock, drugs, aids, homophobia, and the attack of September 11th. No matter, how many different directions, they travel ...more
May 17, 2012 Nina rated it liked it
Saw a blurb that said "if you like Franzen and Philip Roth you will love this book". It was $3.99 so I got it. I have a hard time getting past a work with so many typos and puctuation errors (yeah, I'm a grammar badass) and this book had plenty, including misspellings in Yiddish. But aside from that little problem, the book has a lot of heart. Starting at the murder of JFK and ending after 9/11/01, the book follows the trajectory of a Jewish family on Long Island, meeting up at Thanksgiving and ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Ellen rated it liked it
Shelves: recently-read
Mr. Lefcourt needs a good editor or proofreader, happy to apply for the job. I had a hard time with the many typos and punctuation errors, including misspellings in Yiddish, likely the result of self-publishing on Amazon. Aside from that, the book is heartfelt and true to the generation of post WWII Jewish families in NY/LI and its broader typecasts with whom the author is clearly very familiar. A good summer read, good rhythm, sweetly humorous and as endearing as your softened childhood memorie ...more
May 08, 2012 Connie rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. This is the story of a Jewish/Polish family on Long Island and it follows them from JFK's assassination until 9-11. The historical detail is very accurate in this book and the characters are engaging. The story moves quickly and covers a lot of ground. I like how the author uses Thanksgiving as an anchor for this family, as he uses this holiday to show the passage of time throughout the book. I am not familiar with any of this author's other work, but am going to chec ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
This book was a really good story of a Jewish family in NY state. It looks at the five children of a man who immigrated to America in 1928. The story lives through Kennedys assignation and ending with the 9/11 attacks. Each child is trying to succeed and live up to the fathers expectations and still manage to love him in the process.
Deb Jackson
Mar 29, 2014 Deb Jackson rated it really liked it
Great book.. spanning over 40 years about a Jewish family, beginning with the day John Kennedy is shot & ending with 9/11... Loved all the characters, especially Nathan the dad, but all the brothers & sisters were equally great.. all very individual, yet all one.. well written and brought back great memories through time.
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Peter Lefcourt is a refugee from the trenches of Hollywood, where he has distinguished himself as a writer and producer of film and television. Among his credits are "Cagney and Lacey," for which he won an Emmy Award; "Monte Carlo," in which he managed to keep Joan Collins in the same wardrobe for 35 pages; the relentlessly sentimental "Danielle Steel's Fine Things," and the underrated and hurried ...more
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