Behold The Dreamers
By Imbolo Mbue
Jende is a Cameroonian immigrant who has come to the United States to make a better life for his family. He cannot believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Wall Street executive Clark Edwards and increases his salary to 35,000 a year. Now his only problem is getting that green card…
What did it make me think about?
This is a very readable novel that examines the immigrant experience in America. The author juxtaposes the lives of Jende and his family with the lives of his Wall Street employer and his family.
Should I read it?
I kind of shied away from this novel because it was another “Oprah Pick”. Not sure why as I usually like her picks…. I was thinking it would just be depressing. I am so glad I finally picked this one up. Mbue does such a good job of portraying the difficulties of immigration in America without becoming militant or preachy. She also deftly handles the pain and humanity present in all the people in America- rich and poor. This is a good one!
“Who traveled to America only to return to a future of nothingness in Cameroon after a mere three months? Not young men like him, not people facing a future of poverty and despondency in their own country. No, people like him did not visit America. They got there and stayed there until they could return home like conquerors- as green card- or American passport- bearing conquerors with pockets full of dollars and photos of a happy life”