Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Behold the Dreamers 

by Imbolo Moue

Release Date: June 26th, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
12 hours and 14 minutes (400 Pages)
Published by Random House Audio
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ My Goodreads Rating


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’ fa├žades.

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.


This book has been on my shelf for a while now, but one of my book clubs recently chose it as part of 2019 picks. I felt the beginning of the actual book was very slow, so I was able to get the audiobook version from the library and that made a tremendous difference! The audiobook narrator, Prentice Onayemi, did such an incredible job, I was impressed! If you have a chance to listen to the audiobook, do so.

Being a naturalized immigrant myself, there were a lot of parts of the book I could relate to: from the shady immigration lawyer to the several wrong pieces of advice people decide to just give you, I don't think people that have not gone through the "system" truly understand the struggle that Jende and Neni were going through. 

With that said, it's a heartfelt story, very relevant to today's society, and very truthful to the millions of immigrants trying to survive with the promise of a better future for their children.

I would like to have seen more character development, and I wasn't satisfied with Neni's explanation of why she wanted to become a pharmacist. There was no passion put into her chosen path and I feel that it should've been there (although, that so-called "guidance counselor" resembles one that I met years ago)...UGH!

Some other characters, like the secretary, Leah, could have been explored more, while others, didn't really have a purpose.
Anyway, this is a good book and a GREAT audiobook ❤️.  I highly recommend it.

"I'm not ashamed of wanting many things in life. Tomorrow when my daughter grows up I will tell her to want whatever she wants, the same thing I will tell my son." 


  1. Audiobooks are the perfect choice if you get bored fast or the entry isn't catching enough, however, I haven't listen to any yet, also I havn't read non-fiction like in months. Thankyou for your review��

  2. Very moving review! Sounds like a great book :-)

  3. Lovely review! Even with a slow start it sounds interesting!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful story! I've put it on my audiobook TBR.

    1. I hope you'll like it. Let me know how that goes :-)

  5. The cover looks so beautiful and great review as per your usual.

    Gayathri @ Elgee Writes

    1. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by :-)

  6. An interesting sounding read. It is a shame when chatacchar aren't as fleshed out as they could be but I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    Gemma @

  7. Sounds great, lovely review, just a pity it wasn't perfect but hey at least it was good.

    1. You're right, and for a debut novel, I think the author did a great job!

  8. Great! I love debut novels when they work

  9. Thanks for the recommendation on the audiobook. This is on my to-read list, so I will definitely make sure I listen to it.