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.

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Author: Rae Longest

This year, I will have been a member of AAUW (American Association of University Women) for fifty years, a life time member (which means my fellow AAUW members will begin to pay my annual dues. (ha ha) In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015 and went on from there (See "Introduction",first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 27th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

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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