March's Book of the Month: 'Behold the Dreamers'

Pat Kenny and the Eason Book Club will read Cameroonian author Imbolo Mbue's novel

As spring begins to arrive, the Eason Book Club on the Pat Kenny Show has returned for a new season of great reading. And with March just around the corner, the panel will be poring over the pages of Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers for next month’s segment.

From the US-based, Cameroonian writer comes this compulsive novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors of the American Dream.

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’ façades.

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.

The Eason Book Club will reconvene on Thursday, March 16th, so get reading! You can listen to the podcast of February’s book, Rory Gleeson’s Rockadoon Shore, embedded below:

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