Jende and Neni Jonga immigrate to New York City from Cameroon, hoping to create their own version of the American Dream and improve the prospects of their young son. Jende secures a job as chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a Wall Street executive, entangling his family’s lives with the privileged Upper West Side existence of the Edwards family. With time, it becomes clear that the American dream in which the Jongas believed conceals a dark, more nightmarish quality under its pristine surface. Engagingly written with vivid characters and a resonant message, this is a story that will linger with you long after you turn the final page.
Meghan Casey (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)
This is a book about the American Dream—the dream to go to America, and live the life, have freedoms, and possessions, and a safe place to live. For Jende Jonga and his wife Neni, this is the dream they have had for as long as they can remember. When Jende finally gets the opportunity to leave Cameroon and come to America and bring his wife and son, they learn that things are not as wonderful as they’d hoped. Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for a successful businessman. However, without the proper paperwork, staying in America permanently, even for someone as ambitious and wise as Jende, proves difficult. This novel shows us the effect that the desire for money and status has on a person. Interestingly, it also shows the reverse, and how people who have been shaped by money and status sometimes wish for a simpler life.
Jennifer (Staff) (Clemens Mill Library)