Customer Reviews for

The English American

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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  • Posted December 4, 2009


    Couldn't drop the book down after reading the first few pages. Very funny and emotional!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2010

    Amazingly awesome- must read!

    It's funny, sad, real, and over all awesome. The author tells he story that makes us feel as if we are with Pippa. I enjoyed every page! If you haven't gotten your hand on this book, than pick it up now! It's a great read that you won't be able to put down.

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  • Posted January 6, 2009

    A Great piece of adoption fiction!

    The English American (a review by Karen O¿Keefe and Lynn Grubb) <BR/>As published (in part) in the Union Jack News, June 2008. <BR/> <BR/>As a reunited adoptee, I could strongly relate to Pippa Dunn--a creative and "appallingly untidy" English girl searching for the missing pieces of her identity. Her discovery at the age of 15 that her birth parents are American, coupled with her lifelong desire to unmask her fantasy birth parents into real humans, is best described by Pippa herself: "There's a natural law with secrets. It's the same law that applies to kettles. If you block the ventilation hole, there will, eventually, be an explosion." <BR/> <BR/>After breaking up with a boyfriend chosen for the purpose of security, Pippa impulsively contacts the adoption agency in America. A kind social worker, whose hands are tied by the US closed adoption laws, informs Pippa that her birth mother wants to be contacted, but the laws bar her from revealing her birth mother's identity. Refusing to be thwarted, Pippa hires an independent investigator to locate her birth mother--a bigger-than-life lady with southern charm and a talent for manipulation. As Pippa is transplanted from her beloved England to America, she finds herself betwixt and between two worlds where she learns to embrace the monsters under her bed and the shock and elation of self-discovery. <BR/> <BR/>The author's description of how it feels to be adopted was right-on-the-money. Adoption issues such as abandonment, loyalty, fear of rejection, and deep-seated feelings of being different will strike chords with adoptive families everywhere. I found myself riding up and down the rollercoaster of Pippa's emotions as she took in each piece of her history. I especially applauded the way Pippa's parents were portrayed: as empathetic guides who supported Pippa in her search, without pressing their own feelings and needs to the forefront. <BR/> <BR/>We Agreed<BR/>This book is a "must read" for adopted and non-adopted people alike¿and it should be required reading for adoptive parents! The English American was published in hardback by Simon and Schuster in March of 2008. <BR/> <BR/>You can find more information about Alison Larkin at

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  • Posted October 20, 2008

    The English American, by Alison Larkin; reviewed by Benjamin Katzenstein

    Sometimes in life a good book just comes your way. "The English American," by Alison Larkin struck a beautiful chord. I rarely read airport fiction typically finding it drivel. But I was flying to England and thought it appropriate, based upon a respected recommendation, that I read "The English American." Well, I laughed and cried all the way across the North Atlantic, and read it straight through, cover to cover, (about 300 pages), before I laid my head down to sleep. I don't often cry reading books but this one touched my core and unlocked a good one. Wow, I needed that!<BR/>Benjamin Katzenstein<BR/>Executive Vice President,<BR/>Star Kay White, Inc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    Delightful! Like a Perfectly Brewed Cup of Tea!

    Finally! An uplifting, entertaining, hilarious book about adoption! Larkin takes a serious topic and shines the sunlight on it. Pippa treats everyone in her adoption ¿triangle¿ with fairness and understanding. That¿s one of the reasons why this book is a ¿must-read¿ for every adoptee (especially those who are searching for the ¿parents who gave them birth¿), birth mother, and adoptive parent. But anyone who¿s just wondered what it¿s like to be adopted will learn much from it and enjoy it, too. A perfect combination of ¿bitter¿ and ¿sweet,¿ your heart will break for Pippa one minute, only to be howling over her the next. The English American is the perfect book club selection, since its topic is not only relevant (with many adoptees and birth parents searching) but controversial (open records vs. sealed records laws). And if you¿ve ever wondered how to make a delicious cup of English tea, you¿ll find the recipe in here, too. The English American is charming from beginning to end. But you won¿t want it to end! When you finish it, you¿ll be waiting anxiously for the sequel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2008

    The Best of Both Worlds

    'The English American' is both an immensely readable and enjoyable novel, and a story with deep meaning on multiple levels. Likewise, its heroine, Pippa Dunn, embodies the best of both worlds: genteel British upbringing on the one hand, and irrepressible independent American spirit on the other. But there is more the more you read and reflect, the more is revealed, not only about Pippa, but also about oneself. I felt connected to Pippa and enjoyed traveling with her on her journey ¿across the Pond¿ and back again, and also within. It doesn¿t matter whether you have experienced any of the situations presented by 'The English American,' whether you are a man or a woman, young or old. It speaks to the human heart, with both humor and spirit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2008

    An Adoptee's Travelogue without the Angst!

    This is a well-balanced portrait of the 'pseudo-schizophrenia' felt by many of us - adoptees! - as we try to find biological roots to add in to our experiences with adoptive families. Pippa's obvious differences from her very typical British family may or may not have been due to her American parentage - but the knowledge that she was adopted made that a reasonable cause. The wonderful description of Pippa's perpetual 'trying to be proper' is a joy to read. Inevitably, she searches for clues about her natural (birth) parents, but with all the guilt felt by every adoptee who has even entertained the idea. Alison Larkin has taken the premise and filled her palette with great colors to describe the people and places and events as she goes through the voyage from a questioning, naive adoptee to a much wiser, yet unjaded, person who has been able to balance the four major branches of her family tree - instead of the usual two! For those who are adopted - you will recognize yourselves and you will be able to empathize with the joys and pains of Pippa's journey. For those who have always known someone who was adopted.... - read this book - you really will get a much better idea of what it's all about AND have a great read to boot! Hat's off to Pippa, Alison and Jack!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    Absolutely delightful

    The book is equally humorous and moving. It touches on the subject of adoption and self acceptance in a unique and thoughtful manner. An easy and delightful read. This woman is funny! Deeply comic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2008

    An utterly compelling debut novel

    An utterly compelling debut novel 'Alison Larkin's debut novel The English American is dynamite - a funny, moving, utterly compelling story about an adopted British woman who finds her birth parents in the United States, it's also a surprisingly romantic, fast-paced and at times subtly very sexy love story. When the very English Pippa Dunn decides to find the American birth parents she knows nothing about, she is convinced that all her problems will disappear. Solve the great mystery of your life and everything else will fall into place, right? Wrong. Finding her charismatic American birth parents brings Pippa as much confusion as it brings answers. However, as she begins a new life as a cabaret artist in New York, America itself seems to fit her like a glove. Struggling to come to terms with what she has learned about her origins and her self, Pippa's in the grip of an obsession for a man she hardly knows who sends her seductive emails from around the world. Will she opt for the obsessive love that brought her birth parents together and resulted in her existence? Or will the quiet kind of love her adoptive parents have end up being the right choice for her? The men in Pippa's life are as different from each other as her adoptive parents are different from her birth parents and as different as England is from America. The pace starts on page one and doesn't let up until the end. It's a rich, insightful story that is impossible to put down. I laughed, cried and then, when it was over, I cried again, because I knew I was going to miss Pippa, who felt like a friend. It's a wonderful story by a wonderful new writer. And it has short chapters, which I love! Read it.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

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