Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers

Book - 2017
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The novel tackles themes of family, race and the American Dream as it tells the tale of Jonga, a West African who finds a job as a chauffeur for a high level executive at Lehman Brothers. Jongas wife is hired by the execs wife and the family become close. But Jongas life in America takes an incredibly challenging turn when the 2008 financial meltdown happens.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2017, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812998481
0812998480
9780525509714
Branch Call Number: FICTION MBUE...I
Characteristics: pages ; cm

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"This book is highly compelling and details the complexities of love, money, and the American Dream. The variety of characters will surely connect with readers and the fundamental theme of ambition is sure to be recognized in all of us." -- Michele Giorlando DeRosa

"Behold the Dreamers tells the story of an Cameroonian couple who come to the US with hopes of bettering their lives. Their fortunes rise and then fall with 2008 financial collapse as their American dream become unattainable.
The is the story of one family facing the obstacles that so many i... Read More »

"Imbolo Mbue is a native of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for over a decade, she lives in New York City. Longlisted for a PEN Open Book Award • A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage... Read More »

The novel tackles themes of family, race and the American Dream as it tells the tale of Jonga, a West African who finds a job as a chauffeur for a high level executive at Lehman Brothers. Jongas wife is hired by the execs wife and the family become close. But Jongas life in America takes an incre... Read More »

Not yet published but garnering rave reviews and hype, this debut novel tells the story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy


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LPL_KateG Jun 22, 2018

My book club enjoyed this and had a great discussion about immigration, the American Dream, class differences in various places, and what it means to live a satisfying life. This novel was compelling and had characters who were complex and interesting. I would highly recommend this for a book club!

m
MyTake
May 23, 2018

I loved the pace, the plot twists, the references to another culture. It's impressive that this book is her first. I look forward to reading other books that she may write.

o
orange_lobster_23
Apr 07, 2018

The lives of Cameroonian immigrants aspiring U.S. citizens and Jende Jonga and his wife Nendi become intertwined with that of his Lehman executive employer and family in
this tense and heart-breaking story set in 2007 N.Y.C. A sad and compassionate look at the lives of struggling immigrants and a formerly comfortable family after the 2007 Lehman brothers collapse. A compelling read and winner of the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award.

u
uncommonreader
Mar 29, 2018

This is not a badly written book, but it tells an ordinary story through a rose-tinted lens. A family of immigrants from Cameroon, believing in the American dream, are desperate to stay in the United States for its material benefits. The story is redeemed in the last few chapters.

ArapahoeJody Feb 22, 2018

A novel about two young immigrants from Africa who come to New York City. Through hard work they thrive and begin to raise their family. But overwhelming challenges with the immigration system send them back home to Africa.

s
swheeler89
Jan 31, 2018

Not sure if I would have found this without Oprah, so yeah, Oprah for President?... Seriously this was great. The story and characters were so real, you didn't know who to root for. You learn that family is more than money, and at time more than dreams. Do yourself a favor, read this, and then engage an immigrant to listen to their story as well.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Jan 22, 2018

Jende and Neni are immigrants from Cameroon who live in Harlem. The book begins with Jende getting a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, an executive at Lehman Brothers. Neni attends community college with the goal of becoming a pharmacist. The book is set during the 2008 Presidential Election, and right before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy that contributed to the Great Recession. As Jende’s immigration status becomes more and more tenuous, Neni decides she will do just about anything in order to raise her children in America. Neni is the strongest character, and her actions are the most interesting parts of the book. The Edwards family is less developed, and comes across as a caricature of rich people. Perhaps that was the point though, that this generic rich couple has no idea of how much their actions affect individuals like Jende and Neni, thousands of Lehman Brothers employees, and their own children.

s
suekrachko
Dec 04, 2017

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue is an astonishing debut novel about immigration to America. The author's writes with clarity and suspense, keeping the reader riveted to the story. One of the three best books I've read in 2017.

m
mnack_0
Dec 02, 2017

Another great "first novel" with a surprise ending. Her story gives one much to think about and to discuss about the immigrant story (myth?) in America.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 25, 2017

Involving and empathetic debut novel about an immigrant family struggling to make it in New York City. These are the kind of books that we need to be reading right now. Author Imbolo Mbue is originally from Cameroon. I'd also suggest "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche.

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ArapahoeMaryA Sep 27, 2017

Jalaluddin Rumi, the Sufi mystic. He’s the one who said, ‘Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.’ Which was his own way of saying, ‘Let’s not dwell too much on labeling things as right or wrong.

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