(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $26)
This energetic work of historical fiction traces three generations of the Meisenheimer family through the eyes of James, the grandson of German immigrants. Eager to escape family shackles in Europe, James’ grandparents Frederick and Jette travel to America in 1904, settling in Beatrice, Mo. Watershed events of the 20th century, including Prohibition and JFK’s assassination, provide the backdrop for the Meisenheimers to thrive in their new country and to discover their American identity. It’s a charming novel from George, himself a U.S. transplant from London.