Wednesday, November 2, 2016

BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards nominee for Best Debut Author


Random House
$28.00 hardcover, available now


Rating: 5* of five

The Publisher Says: Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ fa├žades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

: I voted for this book in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. I read somewhere on the internet that this just might be The Great American Novel. I agree.

Nothing is more American, in my experience of being a life-long one, than rooting for the underdog. Nothing is more American than relishing, with unabashed schadenfreude, the fall of the mighty and greedy. These two fundamental American character traits intersect in this well-crafted debut novel. (This is the author's debut novel, but I will bet large sums of cash money that it's not her first...this is an accomplished, polished, beautiful piece of writing and plotting, and it has numerous older siblings in the "recycle" folder on her hard drive or I'm your maiden auntie.)

Don't waste time reading reviews, go get the book and read it! Now! Quick sticks, possums, don't deprive yourselves of this pleasure.

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