Behold the Dreamers

Imbolo Mbue, 2016

With controversy about immigration driving politics in the United States and Europe, a beautifully-crafted novel that looks at the day-to-day life of a family from Africa. Jende Jonga, an immigrant from Cameroon, uses connections to come to the U.S. to make a better life for his wife and son.  He finds an ideal job, working as a chauffeur for Mr. Edwards, a banking executive.  Jonge loyalty allows him an entrĂ©e into the banker’s personal life. Unfortunately, the year is 2007 and the financial crisis is about to explode and topple Wall Streeters, including Jonge’s boss.  Jone loses his job and is forced to work several low-paying kitchen jobs to support his family.  The most intense drama of the book is in the effect this has on both couples—the haves and not-haves.  No matter what one feels about the pros and cons of immigration policy, Mbue’s sensitive portrayal of two families will personalize the issue. 

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