Melissa Crytzer Fry's Reviews > America Was Hard To Find

America Was Hard To Find by Kathleen Alcott
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it was amazing

This book! Oh my goodness. I will never understand why it did not get the publicity and marketing support it deserved. I will go back and read this author’s first and second books – her writing is that spectacular!

About the book… How timely was this novel? It was published on May 14, and the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission was July 20, 1969 – 50 years ago. One of the main characters is a fictitious NASA astronaut who took the first step on the moon. So, there’s that bit of timeliness.

But also, this book does an incredible job of capturing a nation’s unrest during a period of political uncertainty (during the Vietnam War, which coincided with the Space Race). There are plenty of interesting parallels that can be drawn between today’s America, with its air of uncertainty, its young people who feel lost and adrift and rebellious. And, yes, the novel has a young, defiant character whose life is connected to the astronaut’s. The third main character is her son, caught in the fray of his mother’s actions.

Even if you don’t consider yourself highly politically charged, this is worth a read. Because, at its heart, it is a book about people and relationships and the decisions we make as humans.

With a dense, rich style of literary writing that delivers the reader right into the hearts and minds of the characters, you will feel a part of their worlds. This is character-driven literary fiction at its best.

I like books that make me think. And this incredibly intelligent book did just that. This is a novel about outsiders finding their place in the world, in their country. And in large part, I felt the story begged a larger question: where do we draw the line between personality quirks and mental health disorders?

I read this on my iPad and have made several of the passages viewable, but also wanted to include a few samples of the delicious language in this book; metaphors and rich sensory descriptions abound:

This was the real misfortune of the people on earth, he thought: they had made their lives somewhere they had never really seen.

Gasping and coughing is a barbed pleasure, the idea his body might get rid of anything. Wouldn’t it be good to eliminate an organ, any of them, survive on less, be made of less.

Her way with people, drawing them out, was like those magician’s scarves, silky and effortless and a little bit evil.

As he turned to go she caught him leaving, and she threw him a look as though he were a chore too long postponed, some filth that had spread and changed.

His temperature had ranged about wildly, near shiver to near fever. In his rearview Wright ran a comb through his hair, an act so unfamiliar to him that he thought he looked like a cartoon doing it, a dog trying to pass as human. He walked the parking lot of the strip mall with the sort of panic that is quick and bright, all silvery angles of movement.

If you enjoy literary historical fiction, open-ended finishes, deeply drawn and flawed characters, this book will send you over the moon .
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Reading Progress

May 16, 2019 – Shelved
May 16, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
August 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen Awesome review Melissa!


message 2: by Barbara (new)

Barbara fantastic review Melissa!


message 3: by Book2Dragon (new) - added it

Book2Dragon Now I have to read it and it is all your fault. Great review.


Melissa Crytzer Fry Karen wrote: "Awesome review Melissa!"
Thanks, Karen. This was a dark, deep book.


Melissa Crytzer Fry Barbara wrote: "fantastic review Melissa!"Appreciate the comment, Barbara.


Melissa Crytzer Fry Book2Dragon wrote: "Now I have to read it and it is all your fault. Great review."Heh heh. That was my evil plan all along!


message 7: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Fantastic review, Melissa. Thanks for putting this on my radar.


message 8: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Dense, rich, literary writing and I’m in, Melissa!


Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters wow -- Thank you Melissa. -- Outstanding book review!!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Angela M wrote: "Fantastic review, Melissa. Thanks for putting this on my radar."What? I put one on YOUR radar. Mark the calendars, folks -- first time! :-) It was so well done, though, Angela!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Tammy wrote: "Dense, rich, literary writing and I’m in, Melissa!"I'd been wanting to read, and it was a Kindle special one day. I liked it so much, this is one I'm planning to buy in print as well.


Melissa Crytzer Fry Elyse wrote: "wow -- Thank you Melissa. -- Outstanding book review!!"Thanks, Elyse. I think you'd appreciate this one.


message 13: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Must read. You've sold it Melissa.


Melissa Crytzer Fry Elisabeth wrote: "Must read. You've sold it Melissa."I hope it moves you as much as I did. The characters ... so vivid...


message 15: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Excellent review, Melissa. I so appreciate the quotes you included, I have to add this one!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Cheri wrote: "Excellent review, Melissa. I so appreciate the quotes you included, I have to add this one!" Oh, Cheri... I think you'll appreciate this one. It was so dang good.


message 17: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Melissa, I read her last book (at least I think it was her last one) and really loved it, so between that and your lovely review, I am looking forward to this one!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Cheri wrote: "Melissa, I read her last book (at least I think it was her last one) and really loved it, so between that and your lovely review, I am looking forward to this one!"And I'm looking forward to her backlist. I WILL read them. I found her writing that incredible!


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