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Behold the Dreamers

July 13, 2017

I really enjoyed this novel; it was big hearted in a relevant way, given recent events in the news. I especially enjoyed the character of Jende, transplanted to NYC from Cameroon, West Africa, seeking a better life in America with his soon-to-be wife, and child, and their future children.  A story of innocent hopefulness, transformed into bitter reality.

 

As I was reading through the novel, though, I hardly believed that any sane woman such as Jende's wife could contemplate some of the choices she thought she was destined to make. To me, it seemed very logical that staying in NYC wouldn't be the best decision for her or her family --  that her husband was right to decide that going back home to Cameroon would be the best decision for all involved. But in this story, positives outweigh any minor plot problems.

 

In Behold the Dreamers, Mbue excelled at character development. Her writing was great. Set in 2008 during the financial crisis, the novel speaks eloquently to the crisis of finances, immigration, red tape, and all the chaos that might wreak havoc on a family (and undoubtedly has or may again).

 

Behold the Dreamers is a timely and well-nuanced novel, well worth reading. I highly recommend it.

 

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