When Jende Jonga is appointed as a chauffeur, it seems as if all his Christmases have come at once. Driving his Wall Street employer Clarke Edwards around New York, is a far cry from life in his native Cameroon and Jende and his ambitious wife Neni will do whatever it takes to be able to stay and pursue the American dream. But it is 2007 and Clarke works for Lehman Brothers ...
From power and privilege through to the challenges and struggles of migrants, this thoughtful story lays bare the lives of the Edwards and Jonga families, exposing the American Dream to the light of day.
Most enjoyed this book - we felt an empathy with Jende and his wife as they pursued their dream. We felt that the American family is a bit clichd but overall the experience of the Cameroon people felt authentic. Good ending.
Compelling characters and story. A modern day Downton Abbey with a glimpse into the lives and decisions of the rich and the people that work for them. The story is told with specificity and love for the characters.
Great little story with a huge event as a background. Well-written.
All enjoyed it - found it a real eyeopener as to what a struggle the Islanders had to get any education.
A great read and insight into another world, so true on so many levels regarding migrants and their focus on the next generation. The writer does a great job of opening our eyes to the struggles faced living in a foreign land. Interesting to see the tricks and deceits you learn to survive, and how money doesn't necessarily bring the longed for happiness or security.
A great read and easy to whip through. Liked the characters and all the interaction of relationships and differing cultures. Quite a sad ending, but quite likely all too true. Not as good as Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie, but well worth the read!
A very well-written insight into the lives and hopes of the characters in the story. I had sympathy for their situations - very heart wrenching.
Group all enjoyed this book - good discussion.
Our group thought generally an excellent read and well-written. Gave an insight into the plight of illegal immigration and mental anguish suffered.
Feedback varied - some said because they had no experience of Africa or New York, so they were not so interested. Others (like me) LOVED it, because of connections with Africa and New York.
Waiting for the sequel! Enjoyed by everyone.
Everyone enjoyed the book, and it generated much discussion.
Nearly everyone loved this book. Several of the group found it a little slow to get going, but then thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters.