Jende and Neni Jonga are emigrants Cameroon who have come to America for a chance at a better life for their family. The novel takes place around the year 2007 and amid the recession. The Jongas come to America with big dreams, but what are they willing to do to keep their hope afloat?
This is an important and entertaining novel. I’m sure we have all read books that deal with immigration of some sort, but I have not read many that deal with a more modern immigrant experience. It opened my eyes to how much hope people still have in America. We, as Americans, may not be happy with our country as it is now, but we should be thankful for what we do have. There are some wonderfully flawed and realistic characters that had me laughing and crying along with them. This book shows just how imperfect this country and its people are, but that is not always a bad thing.
This book also highlights how much of a pain it can be to immigrate to America. The Jongas are honest people that just want a better life. They are no different than any American with a dream. Between the financial crisis, racism, and governmental hoop-jumping, the Jongas must go through so much to live a life many Americans would never want. This novel made me thankful for what I have and allowed me to put myself in an immigrant’s shoes.