I actually would give this book a 3.5 rating if Goodreads had that rating available.This is "an improvisation on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville" as the book cover states. Olivier is a French aristocrat born right after the French Revolution. He travels to America with Parrot as his servant as well as a spy for Olivier's over-protective mother in France. I found the first few chapters uninteresting as well as difficult to read. Much of the storyline seemed improbable. However, after the first 68 pages, the book became more interesting. The author writes one chapter from the viewpoint of Olivier and the next chapter portrays Parrot's observations. How each of these characters view America is fascinating. I especially enjoyed Olivier's commentary on the Fourth of July celebrations in Albany, New York. At first, Olivier views America favorably, but as the book progresses, he gradually changes his opinion.I don't know French and there was quite a few passages in French. These always seemed to be critical in understanding the next few paragraphs. I would have preferred footnotes or more clues in the context as to what was being said.