Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers

by

Imbolo Mbue

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Behold the Dreamers can help.
The Edwards family’s regular maid. As of 2008, she has been working for the family for twenty-two years. Neni fills in for her once as Cindy Edwards’s maid and Mighty Edwards’s nanny while Anna is on summer break. Anna talks to Neni about Cindy’s alcoholism and emotional weakness, fearing how both leave her compromised. She lives in Peekskill, New York with her family. Anna has a daughter in college and an older son with a construction business that is floundering due to the financial crisis. He, his wife, and three children move in with Anna. It is Anna who discovers Cindy’s dead body.
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Anna Character Timeline in Behold the Dreamers

The timeline below shows where the character Anna appears in Behold the Dreamers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 17
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...that it won’t be a problem for her either. She tells Neni that she’ll accompany Anna on the Long Island Railroad to the Hamptons to get acquainted with Cindy and the... (full context)
Chapter 18
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
When Neni first goes to the Edwardses’ Hamptons house, she tries not to show Anna how “awed” she is by their large “two-story warm gray stone-and-wood-shingled house,” which they only... (full context)
Chapter 24
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...she never thought she would one day like raw meat. So, Neni is glad when Anna calls and asks if she can help out with a brunch that Cindy and her... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...finds it hard to reconcile her joyfulness with the strange episodes in the Hamptons. Then, Anna whispers in her ear that they need to talk about Cindy. Anna asks if Neni... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...uncles is “the best drunkard in Bonjo,” who serenades the neighborhood on his best days. Anna says that servants who’ve worked for families with problems like the Edwardes’ end up losing... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Anna wants to tell Clark about Cindy’s alcoholism, but Neni insists that they can’t. She walks... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
During the brunch, Anna prompts Neni to talk to Clark, while people were starting to leave. Neni nods and... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...go offer the scones to the other guests. When Neni runs back to the kitchen, Anna asks if she told Clark about Cindy’s drinking. Neni shakes her head and buries her... (full context)
Chapter 27
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...“scary” “when people start talking about flying coach and selling vacation homes.” Cindy agrees that Anna isn’t going anywhere either; she wouldn’t know what to do without her. (full context)
Chapter 35
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...and Clark tells Jende that he can take off as much time as he needs. Anna stops by with a box of size-two diapers a couple of days later, which he... (full context)
Chapter 37
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...after Christmas, Jende returns to work, “only to find that there [isn’t] much to do.” Anna tells him that Clark is living at a hotel. She also tells him that Cindy... (full context)
Chapter 41
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Neni walks toward the hall to apartment 25A. Anna opens the door and says that Cindy has just come back out into the living... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Cindy emerges, mentioning that Anna said that Neni wanted to give her something. She reaches out to take the bag,... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Cindy demands that Neni leave and calls Anna to dial 911, saying that she’ll teach Neni “a lesson.” Neni doesn’t budge and says... (full context)
Chapter 43
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Anna calls Neni before six o’clock on the morning after Neni left the Edwardses’ apartment. She... (full context)
Chapter 45
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...pills, drank around two bottles of wine, fell asleep, and accidentally drowned in her vomit. Anna found her, lying on the bed with dried vomit crusted on her chin, neck, and... (full context)