I had some conflicted feelings about this one. It’s set during the 2008 financial crisis, and follows the entwined fates of two families: the Jongas—recent Cameroonian immigrants to the United States, and the Edwards family—rich, white, and connected to Lehman Brothers and the underlying roots of the recession. I felt that the story was strong, and refused to follow the most obvious paths. The prose, on the other hand, felt too stagy at times—with characters’ emotions spelled out explicitly. One of the Edwards children, in particulary, seems to exist primarily to provide dialogue that directly comments on class and privilege—something that might have been better conveyed through interactions between characters.
I liked that the book questioned the cost of immigrant life in the United States, and whether any life here is preferable to a different life elsewhere.