I was honored to get to review this book as Sophie Kinsella is indirectly the only reason I fell in love with the song, Calling You by Kat Deluna, as she is the name behind the best-selling shopaholic series which resulted in a major motion picture staring Isla Fischer.
Yet, this book did not make me feel as invigorated as the song.
It follows a married couple who find out that their life expectancy is quite a stretch more than they originally thought when they promised “till death do us part.” Right away, you find yourself rooting for the main character, Sylvie. She’s the typical mother of two girls looking to spice things up in her life and marriage by coming up with this idea that her and her husband Dan should surprise each other with things, ideas, or creative endeavors to keep things “lively” since they have about 68 more years of healthy, happy married life.
Yet, although I finished the entire novel, I found myself skimming through entire chapters because they seemed almost superflous in nature to the overall story. Maybe I read this book all wrong but after just finishing a 60 chapter not yet published novel in an entire day, I can say that what was abundant in that book was missing in this one:
There was a lack of tension or an overall obstacle for the main character or characters to overcome.
True. This is a married couple we are talking about so the climax will not be as romantic as two arch-enemies that fall in love with one another BUT I guess I still felt something was missing.
Ultimately, that was the most surprising of all. That this book left me feeling like I just read one of those books I read in grade school ONLY BECAUSE I was obligated and not at all because I wanted to.
This book was my modern day post-academic life The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
To read this book in it’s entirety, you can visit here.
Inkitt is a brand new platform in book publishing. It offers writers a chance at publication if your finished novel reaches an increasingly popular amount of reads, using analytics that show how interested readers were while reading it.
It’s like Wattpad but better because you could see your book in print, and Inkitt is entirely generous to it’s authors because they know how hard it is to write a book as well as how hard it is to find the right publishing house for it.
With that said, I was asked to read this book because I am a member of Inkitt’s book club. Yet, this book actually kept my interest far more than two books that were on my queue, and I chose to finish and review it over those other books.
Some days even found me reading large sections of the book because I had to know what was going to happen next. I very much am obsessed with books like that.
Within America, even the America we know today, comes the finest pixie dust blowing between the New York City buildings and inside houses during Florida summers while the air conditioner cools down teenagers on summer breaks who sit staring at their smartphones waiting for school to start again.
This same pixie dust gives birth to the American dream most of us have let go of like a hard exhale after a runner’s morning jog. Yet, to country outsiders who are oppressed in their home countries by governments that aren’t democracies, they are exhilarated by the hope of a better life and a better job in the greatest country this world still can’t figure out: land of the free and home of the brave.
This is the theme and underlying heartbeat to Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, a debut author who herself has not only studied the craft of writing a best-selling novel but has herself lived to tell the tale.
It beautifully crafts the story of Cameroon native Jende Jonga who has immigrated to Harlem and finally landed the greatest opportunity he could ever dream of in his career- as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Encompassing themes of racism, illegal immigration, marriage, wealth, and spirituality without missing a step or a word misplaced. All in all, no trap door in the American dream is missed but only if you are up to the challenge of reading between the lines. This book is nothing less than a must read!
Imbolo Mbue is a native of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for over a decade, she lives in New York City. BEHOLD THE DREAMERS is her first novel. And like any real extremely talented artist, she is not on social media.