Friday, October 7, 2016
Behold the Dreamers: a book review
Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue
Published by Random House; released August 23, 2016
Behold the Dreamers is a masterful novel that juxtaposes a rich, white American family from Wall Street with an immigrant family from Cameroon trying to obtain their papers to stay in this country legally. Both families are struggling -- one within its own family, the other with the world around them -- and both are affected by the financial collapse of 2008.
Clark Edwards is a hard-working Wall Street executive, and Jende Jonga is his equally hard-working chauffeur. Jende's wife, Neni, is a caregiver studying to become a pharmacist. She is happy to have a chance to live the American dream. That same dream, however, is suffocating Mrs. Edwards.
This is not a plot-based, action book. This is a drama about the daily life -- good and bad -- of two very different families, who perhaps are after the same American dream -- to be secure and have a happy home.
I loved reading this story and getting to go inside the minds and hearts of these characters, who are more alike than they might think. We get to see what drives these characters and what makes them fragile as their lives begin to unravel. We get to see them at their high points, as well as their low points.
Get this book and sink into it. It will make you feel. It will make you think. Mbue offers a rich experience in Behold the Dreamers.
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