Review:BEHOLD THE DREAMERS by Imbolo Mbue

Many good novels have been written about immigrants in America who came to this country seeking a better life. Many are based on personal experience, so when we see the author’s glamor-shot photo (typical book jacket photograph), we expect her novel to end “…and they lived happily ever after in America.”  Spoiler alert:  You may not want to read the next three sentences. This novel does not end that way. And, a life lesson we learn from Jede and Neni, our protagonists, is that living happily ever after may not require living in the United States. Let me add one qualifier, the individuals of the happy couple are not equally happy with the ending decision they make.

I am an aficionado of debut novels, and this one is outstanding.  Jende and Neni, our protagonists, are  immigrants to the United States from Cameroon.  They have big plans, hopes, and dreams for their infant daughter, born in America, and therefore an American citizen, and their son, young enough to begin school in America.  Liomi , their son seems more American than some of his “real” American classmates, comes to love living in the States, but he was raised on joyous tales of his father’s boyhood in Cameroon. Therefore,he would probably be able to live happily in either country.

As the book jacket states, it is a”… dazzling, fast-paced, and exquisitely written” novel. And indeed, Mbue is an excellent storyteller. I grew to love the characters and their family and friends, suffered when they suffered, and rejoiced when they rejoiced.  I can hardly wait to read this outstanding author’s next effort.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

5 thoughts on “Review:BEHOLD THE DREAMERS by Imbolo Mbue”

  1. I really enjoyed your review – it is clearly an extraordinary book and you have successfully conveyed that. Many thanks for sharing:). On a technical note – for some reason, your name link comes up for another, defunct blog and I had to track down the link you gave me for a previous blog. I don’t know whether you can sort this out? It will definitely affect how many people can track down your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the information. I originally started with a google blog because Debbie Nance of Readerbuzz suggested it. Then I changed to wordpress because my “grandson” (actually former student) who helps me with the crazy world of computers uses wordpress for his blog, and it was easier for him to help me if it was one he was familiar with. That’s why the change.
      The correct link is https://powerfulwomenreaders.wordpress.com Maybe you can “park” this somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I think that WordPress is very user-friendly, especially in the matter of comments! I will park the link – but it may be worth your ‘grandson’ seeing if he can rejig the http address so that when folks click on it, they don’t get redirected to a dread end?

        Liked by 1 person

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