finished reading

An interesting story set in just before the economic collapse in 2008, before President Obama was elected.  That societal context lends itself to the hope that many people were feeling.  This essentially is the story of two families, an immigrant family from Cameroon and a privileged American family.  

This debut novel is beautifully written.  And there's a specific type of storytelling that I find with many African authors--almost a meandering storytelling, with rich detail.  The audio is wonderfully narrated.

From the publisher:
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’ façades.

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.

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