Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Behold the Dreamers. You need to read this book. If your library doesn't have it, buy the paperback or the Kindle edition. Because seriously, you need to read it.

I have a history with this book. I was in the running for the job of editing it, and although I did not get the gig, I got to read the book last year as the author was refining it for publication. When I read it, I got that prickle on the back of my neck, the one that says, this is a fantastic book and if there is justice in the universe, it will be a best seller.

This is a story about an immigrant and his family whose lives become intwined with the lives of their employers--the typical "one percent" just before the economy crashes and burns in 2008. Like her immigrant protagonists, the author is herself an immigrant, and her portraits of the various "dreamers" are rich and layered and believable and true.

The writing is luminous. She takes us to the heart of several very different lives and takes us to a time and place that was a pivot point for history, a time that shattered a lot of people's dreams. The book came out last month and has already been picked as one of Good Housekeeping's fall reading picks. It'll be on a lot more reading lists before too long. 

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