Book: Behold the Dreamers
Author: Imbolo Mbue
Genre: Literary Fiction
Read if you like: family stories, stories about struggle and triumph, stories about the immigrant experience.
Good morning bookworms! I’ve got a short and sweet book review for you today. This was a really powerful read and I’m grateful it was recommended to me. Jende and Nemi were resilient people and I enjoyed reading about their strength and determination.
This book followed the lives of a couple that moved to New York City from Cameroon. Jende came first. He had to convince the embassy in Cameroon that he was definitely coming back to get a visitors visa. Then once in America he had to apply for asylum. He then had to convince a judge that he needed a work permit so he could work while waiting for his asylum case to be heard, which could take years. Two years later he had enough money to apply for a student visa so his wife could come over and bring their son. He eventually gets a better paying job, but lives in constant fear that his asylum case will be thrown away or denied and he will be deported. So why did they even bother coming to America? Because even though it was hard work they had a better life than in Cameroon. They wanted their son to have better opportunities for education. The whole story is a constant struggle for a better life. There is a lot of commentary on racism and the way many people treat immigrants. This was a very eye-opening book for me, an excellent insight into something I’ve never experienced. I would highly recommend it.