'Behold the Dreamers' reads as modern 'Grapes of Wrath'

Perhaps there are no clear antagonists among the two families because instead they face a common, invisible foe: the elusive American dream. For each character must grapple with what that dream is and whether the cost of chasing it is too high.

Their reckoning delivers us a witty, compassionate, swiftly paced novel that takes on race, immigration, family and the dangers of capitalist excess. In her debut novel, Mbue has crafted a compelling view of 21st-century America.


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