Behold the Dreamers – September Book of the Month
What does is it take for one to have a better and bigger life in America? Behold the dreamers is an immigrant Debut novel by Imbolo Mbue. Imbolo is also an immigrant from Cameroon so the book tells most of what she has experienced. Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. Jende was looking for a job and Clark Edward a senior executive at Lehman Brothers was looking for a driver. That’s how Jende ended up being a chauffeur. Neni was also offered a temporary job by Clark’s wife, Cindy.
The author takes us through the daily life of the immigrant family and his boss. Jende was desperate to impress and from time to time he would give his boss stories from his homeland to amuse him. Most of the time Jende would be embarrassed by his work and felt small around his boss, but around his wife and son he was a big man. Despite the humiliation, Jende is able to provide for his family and pay school fees for his son.
The life was going on okay until Clark found himself on the rough side of the stick after some troubling secrets came out. Lehman Brothers collapsed and cost Jende’s job, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart.
“It’s the fear that kills us, Leah,” Jende said. “Sometimes it happens and it’s not even as bad as the fear. That is what I have learned in this life. It is the fear.”
Fear kicked in and they were now losing faith in the dreams of having a bigger and better life in America. Sadness dominated their home and at this point of life Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice. Want to join our book club? Click here to be a member
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