Review published on February 16, 2017.
Jenda Jonga believes that America will provide “the good life” for himself and his family. He comes from Cameroon, but if he can establish himself in the US, his son can go to college and will not have to struggle as Jenda has. A relative lends him the fare and he works two jobs in order to get the money to bring his wife and son to New York. The. He is lucky enough to be offered a job as a chauffeur working for Clark Edwards, a senior partner at Lehman Brothers Bank. The salary is beyond Jenda’s wildest dreams and he is now earning enough to put his wife through college and also save some money. The hours are long, but the Edwards family are good to work for and Jenda even makes plans to buy a house in the future. America is really the place to be, but first Jenda must make sure he gets his Green Card. Then comes the recession of 2007/8. The book follows the trials and tribulations of both the Jonga family and the Edwards family at this time as their worlds are turned upside down. This is a really thought provoking book and it shows how money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. I really enjoyed the descriptions of life in Cameroon and the contrasts Jenda found when he went to New York. It is a really lovely book and one that is well worth reading.
Val James 4/4
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Fourth Estate 9780008158118 hbk Feb 2017