08 May 2017

Behold the Dreamers


Jende and Neni Jonga want desperately to stay in America, to make something of themselves, and give their son a future he could not even dream of in Cameroon. But making those dreams come true is dependent on money and money depends on employment and employment depends on immigration status. And immigration status? That depends on who is asking the question. Jende wants to be aboveboard but he is trapped in a legal limbo while he waits for a decision from the USCIS regarding his petition for asylum status. Working as a driver for Clark Edwards, the seeming epitome of the American Dream, entangles Jendi and Neni in the Clark family's secrets and exposes the cracks behind the Dream's facade. This entanglement inevitably spurs several desperate acts, leading to a surprising, but realistically unavoidable, ending.


Behold the Dreamers is of those audio books you can’t stop listening to and find yourself idling extra long in parking lots, waiting for a "good place" to pause. Alas, there are no good places -- this is an audio book that deserves all of your attention, all of the time. Much of that is due to Mbue’s exemplary writing style and intricate story-telling skills, of course, but Onayemi's masterful reading deserves awards.

Behold the Dreamers written by Imbolo Mbue & read by Prentice Onayemi (Random House Audio, 2016)