13 Years in America

  I had the pleasure of reading a little glimpse into author Melanie Steele’s experience living in America as a Canadian.  Her story is called 13 Years in America: One Women’s pursuit of the American Dream.  Melanie chronicles her life from for 13 years starting in 1998.  She has spent some time after college graduation traveling around Canada experiencing life…you know that time that young people spend trying to find themselves.  Melanie’s truly values experiences and people over money and status and this is consistent theme throughout her story.    She quickly meets and marries her American husband and then moves to Minnesota to begin their life together. It was fascinating to read  of their struggles not only the financial ones, but with their own value system opposed to those around them.  That is a tough part of life….the time you realize that your dream life may not be financially possible, so you have to adjust….do you change your dream or change your mindset?   Melanie has never wanted to conform or fit into a mold.  She wants to work where she feels that she is doing something that is appreciated…the money does not matter.    My favorite part of the book is when they move to Grand Marais, and she takes a job writing grants for a radio station.  I felt this is where Melanie found happiness.    However, the book ends quite abruptly and does not have the ending I had expected.  I am not sure if she ever discovered her American Dream (for it is different for all Americans…that is what makes America so beautiful to me.)

A side note….Melanie works for a year as a college professor teaching freshman English.  She seems dishearten by this experience for the students are not eager to be there nor seem to be moved by her passion for writing, so she decides to pursue other avenues.  I wished that she would have stayed in this profession longer…she seemed gifted as a teacher.  As a teacher myself, and being married to an English teacher….I understand the frustration.  There seems to be more students who appear uninterested, and yet years later, we have both received emails or letters from students telling us just how much they learned from us and appreciated our classes.  Teaching like parenting is a very under appreciated profession…and it may be years until your children see just how much you have helped them.  In all honesty, we may never truly know how many lives we have touched….we have to believe we have made a difference.  Teaching is a beautiful thing…

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1 Comment

Filed under adult, Memoir, nonfiction

One response to “13 Years in America

  1. trista

    I appreciate the review. I will be reading this book soon. The older I get, the more nonfiction I read.

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