Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers

by

Imbolo Mbue

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Neni Jonga Character Analysis

A thirty-three year old Cameroonian immigrant and Jende’s wife. When the novel begins, Neni has been in the United States for a year-and-a-half, living with Jende and their son, Liomi. Neni works as a home health aide through an agency that pays her in cash because she does not yet have a green card. In the summer of 2006, she is four-months pregnant and takes a four-week job working as Cindy Edwards’s maid and Mighty Edwards’s nanny at the Edwardses home in the Hamptons. Neni and Mighty form a close bond as a result. Neni is also studying chemistry at Borough of Manhattan Community College on a student visa and hopes to be a pharmacist. She decides on the profession based on the respect that was always bestowed on pharmacists in her hometown of Limbe, where she met her husband. Jende and Neni’s first child, a daughter, was born in 1990 but died of yellow fever when she was one-month old. Neni’s family had a bit more money than the Jongas, and her father later refused to allow Neni to marry Jende, even after Liomi was born, until Jende could pay Neni’s bride-price. Neni loves New York and feels that her life can progress in America in a way that it couldn’t in Cameroon. She is very hard-working and focused on her studies, and she demands the same from her son. Her dedication to scholarship earns her membership into the honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. In Limbe, she had not made it as far as high school, but she did complete a year of evening computer classes. Before moving to the United States, Neni had never been more than forty miles outside of Limbe. Living and working in the U.S., however, makes her increasingly self-reliant and skeptical of her husband’s dominance over her.

Neni Jonga Quotes in Behold the Dreamers

The Behold the Dreamers quotes below are all either spoken by Neni Jonga or refer to Neni Jonga. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Behold the Dreamers published in 2016.
Chapter 14 Quotes

Winston had friends of all races, she knew, but she had no idea he had so many white friends […] It was one thing to be in the same class with them, work for them, smile at them on the bus; it was a whole other thing to laugh and chat with them for hours, making sure she enunciated every word so they wouldn't say her accent was too difficult to understand. No way could she spend time with a white woman and be herself the way she was with Betty or Fatou […] And the people in the bar […] they were mostly associates at the firm where Winston worked, so she had to be careful not to embarrass him. Nothing shamed her more than black people embarrassing themselves in front of white people by behaving the way white people expect them to behave.

Related Characters: Neni Jonga, Winston Avera, Fatou, Betty
Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:

She was noticing something for the first time […] On both sides of the street […] she saw people walking with their kind: a white man holding hands with a white woman; a black teenager giggling with other black (or Latino) teenagers; a white mother pushing a stroller alongside another white mother; a black woman chatting with a black woman […] Even in New York City […] men and women, young and old, rich and poor, preferred their kind when it came to those they kept closest. And why shouldn't they? It was far easier to do so than to spend one’s limited energy trying to blend into a world one was never meant to be a part of […] She had her world in Harlem and never again would she try to wriggle her way into a world in midtown, not even for just an hour.

Related Characters: Jende Jonga, Neni Jonga, Winston Avera
Page Number: 94-95
Explanation and Analysis:

In his first days in America, it was here he came every night to take in the city. It was here he often sat to call her when he got so lonely and homesick that the only balm that worked was the sound of her voice. During those calls, he would ask her how Liomi was doing, what she was wearing, what her plans for the weekend were, and she would tell him everything, leaving him even more wistful for the beauty of her smile, the hearth in his mother’s kitchen, the light breeze at Down Beach, the tightness of Liomi's hug, the coarse jokes and laughter of his friends as they drank Guinness at a drinking spot; leaving him craving everything he wished he hadn’t left behind. During those times, he told her, he often wondered if leaving home in search of something as fleeting as fortune was ever worthwhile.

Related Characters: Jende Jonga, Neni Jonga, Liomi Jonga
Page Number: 95-96
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

“First it was my father…he thought he had the right, you know?” Cindy said.

“Drag my mother into that abandoned house…force her… do it to her by force…don’t give a shit about…not care for a second about what would happen to the child…”

She sniffled, took another sip of wine, and wept.

“And the government…our government,” she moaned, slurring, tears running down her cheeks, snot running down her nose. “They had the right, too. Force my mother to carry the child of a stranger. Force her to give birth to the child because…because…I don’t know why!”

Related Characters: Cindy Edwards (speaker), Neni Jonga, Clark Edwards, Vince Edwards
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Many would be convinced that the plague that had descended on the homes of former Lehman employees was only a few blocks from theirs. Restaurateurs, artists, private tutors, magazine publishers, foundation directors, limousine drivers, nannies, housekeepers, employment agencies, virtually everyone who stood along the path where money flowed to and from the Street fretted and panicked that day. For some, the fears were justified: Their bread and wine would indeed disappear, along with the billions of dollars that vanished the day Lehman died.

Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 49 Quotes

“In America today, having documents is not enough. Look at how many people with papers are struggling. Look at how even some Americans are suffering. They were born in this country. They have American passports, and yet they are sleeping on the street, going to bed hungry, losing their jobs and houses every day in this…this economic crisis.”

Related Characters: Jende Jonga (speaker), Neni Jonga
Page Number: 307
Explanation and Analysis:

“You should have been with me last week when I saw this man who used to drive another executive at Lehman Brothers. We used to sit together outside the building sometimes; he was a fresh round man. I saw him downtown: The man looked like he had his last good meal a year ago. He has not been able to find another job. He says too many people want to be chauffeurs now […] Everyone is losing jobs everywhere and looking for new jobs, anything to pay bills. So you tell me—if he, an American, a white man with papers, cannot get a new chauffeur job then what about me? They say the country will get better, but you know what? I don’t know if I can stay here until that happens. I don’t know if I can continue suffering like this just because I want to live in America.”

Related Characters: Jende Jonga (speaker), Neni Jonga
Page Number: 310
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 50 Quotes

By her late twenties, all she could think about was America […] The African-Americans she saw on TV in Cameroon were happy and successful, well-educated and respectable, and she'd come to believe that if they could flourish in America, surely she could, too […] Even after she'd seen the movies Boyz n the Hood and Do the Right Thing, she couldn’t be swayed or convinced that the kind of black life depicted represented anything but a very small percentage of black life, just like Americans probably understood that the images they saw of war and starvation in Africa were but a very small percentage of African life […] Every picture she'd seen of Cameroonians in America was a portrait of bliss: children laughing in snow; couples smiling at a mall; families posing in front of a nice house with a nice car nearby. America, to her, was synonymous with happiness.

Related Characters: Neni Jonga
Page Number: 312
Explanation and Analysis:

Later, as she stood in front of the mirror staring at her face before applying her exfoliating mask, she promised herself she would fight Jende till the end. She had to. It wasn’t only that she loved New York City […] It wasn’t just because she was hopeful that she would one day become a pharmacist […] It was hardly only about […] things she could never find in her hometown, things like horse-drawn carriages on city streets, and gigantic lighted Christmas trees in squares and plazas, and pretty parks where musicians played for free beside polychromatic foliage […] It was mostly for what her children would be deprived of […] It was for the boundless opportunities they would be denied […] She was going to fight for her children, and for herself, because no one journeyed far away from home to return without a fortune amassed or dream achieved.

Related Characters: Jende Jonga, Neni Jonga, Liomi Jonga, Betty
Page Number: 316
Explanation and Analysis:
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Behold the Dreamers PDF

Neni Jonga Character Timeline in Behold the Dreamers

The timeline below shows where the character Neni Jonga appears in Behold the Dreamers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
A year-and-a-half to the day that Neni Jonga arrived in the United States, she and her friend, Fatou, are in Chinatown trying... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Two weeks after Neni arrived in America, in May 2006, she became “a respectable woman” and married Jende. For... (full context)
Chapter 3
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The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...he got the chauffeur job at a salary of thirty-five thousand per year. After calling Neni, he calls his cousin, Winston, to thank him for putting a good word in to... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...his life to construct the lie that can win him asylum. When Bubakar discovers that Neni’s father had him imprisoned for impregnating Neni, Bubakar insists they use that, despite it having... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
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...went too far, quickly makes peace. Jende continues with his story, saying that his and Neni’s daughter died in infancy. Neni’s father didn’t want Jende to marry Neni because he came... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Neni stays up late, waiting for Jende to come home so that she can hear about... (full context)
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When Neni asks what Cindy looks like, Jende says that she’s “good-looking” and looks the way a... (full context)
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Neni asks Jende what he did after dropping Mighty off at school. He says that he... (full context)
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Neni thinks that this is a lot to do in one day, but Jende insists that,... (full context)
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Jende finishes his dinner and asks Neni if Liomi is sleeping in their bed or his own; he’s in his own, Neni... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
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...that the job offered him no solid future, not even a sure way to marry Neni. (full context)
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...time. Jende explains that, in Cameroon, “not everyone can marry the person that they want.” Neni’s father, for instance, refused to allow him and Neni to marry because he wanted her... (full context)
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The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
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Clark says that he hopes Neni’s “worth it.” Jende insists that he has “the best wife in the whole world.” Clark... (full context)
Chapter 8
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It’s midnight and Neni still hasn’t started studying. She figured she’d be done with the chores by ten, but... (full context)
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The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Two other students in Neni’s precalculus class had formed a study group and invited others to join, but she didn’t... (full context)
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Around three-thirty in the morning, Neni goes to the kitchen for another cup of coffee. She takes a sip and then... (full context)
Chapter 9
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While eating at Red Lobster in Times Square with Neni and Liomi, Jende gets a text message from his brother. When Jende calls back, he... (full context)
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Jende runs to the ATM, while Neni has a waiter wrap up the sautéed shrimp that Jende didn’t have time to finish.... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...get a better job. He also reminds him of how he helped Jende apply for Neni’s student visa. He asks Jende to trust him. They’ll go before a judge, win his... (full context)
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The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
That night, after Jende tells Neni the news, he watches her cry “the first tears of sadness she’d ever cried in... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Neni goes on as though everything is fine. Jende assures her that they’ll take things as... (full context)
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While packing Liomi’s lunch one morning, he reminds Neni of the parent-teacher conference scheduled for that day. She’s tempted to tell him that she... (full context)
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The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
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At home, Neni gives Liomi crackers and juice and then proceeds to remind him of why she and... (full context)
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The talk with Liomi makes Neni feel hopeful, as though her family may still have a chance. When Jende returns home... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Neni goes to a café across from the public library in midtown Manhattan to meet her... (full context)
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This meeting is more comfortable than Neni’s first with Jerry. She spent the whole hour just nodding while he spoke, afraid of... (full context)
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Fatou tells Jerry all about her and Neni’s plans for Mother’s Day, which reminds Jerry to call his mother. Fatou reminds him to... (full context)
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Neni timidly asks Jerry how he can like children if he’s gay. Jerry says that, once... (full context)
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When Neni leaves her meeting with Jerry, she still registers her surprise to Fatou about him being... (full context)
Chapter 14
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When Neni enters the Hudson Hotel bar, where Winston is having his birthday party, she wonders why... (full context)
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Neni excuses herself to go to the restroom. She looks at herself in the mirror and... (full context)
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A minute after reentering the bar, Neni doesn’t see Jende or Winston and ends up standing by herself. Then, she sees Jende... (full context)
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A friend comes and takes Jenny’s attention away from Neni, and the two women hardly pause to say goodbye. Neni pushes through the crowd to... (full context)
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Jende suggests that he and Neni go sit at Columbus Circle. On the way there, she notices that most of the... (full context)
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At Columbus Circle, Jende and Neni sit near the statue of Christopher Columbus, “surrounded by skateboarders and young lovers and homeless... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...says that Cindy will need a housekeeper for four weeks and that Jende should ask Neni if she would like to take on the job for extra money. Jende says that... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
On Neni’s first day on the housekeeping job, she descends the steps into the subway with Jende... (full context)
Chapter 18
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When Neni first goes to the Edwardses’ Hamptons house, she tries not to show Anna how “awed”... (full context)
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Babysitting Mighty is the best part of Neni’s job, and Cindy approves of how happy she makes Mighty. Neni observes how Cindy’s concern... (full context)
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Neni sees that Cindy is obsessed with being where everyone else in her social circle is... (full context)
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Jende asks Neni if she looks dead. Neni says that Cindy was still breathing. She asks him what... (full context)
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Neni goes back upstairs to the guest bedroom and sees Cindy sleeping in the same position.... (full context)
Chapter 19
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The next morning, Neni knocks “lightly” but “insistently” at Cindy’s door to ask where she’d like to have her... (full context)
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Cindy thanks Neni for helping her yesterday. She picks up her sunglasses and puts them on, despite it... (full context)
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Cindy takes off her sunglasses and looks into Neni’s eyes. She tells Neni that she wasn’t born into wealth and came from a poor... (full context)
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...her silver teaspoon and stirs her coffee again, then puts it down and looks at Neni, whose eyes are lowered. Cindy says that she’s telling Neni all this to help her... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Cindy thanks Neni and then offers to give her some clothes that she was going to send to... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...Jende stops eating and puts down his ball of attiéké. Liomi says that he overhead Neni talking about it on the phone to someone. Jende scolds Liomi for listening to his... (full context)
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Back at the apartment, Jende calls Neni and scolds her for exposing Liomi to their pain. Neni says that she didn’t know... (full context)
Chapter 21
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 Halfway into Neni’s stay in Southampton, Vince walks into his bedroom and jumps on his newly made bed... (full context)
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Neni calls Jende later that evening to see if he knows what’s going on and he... (full context)
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Neni silently steps into the kitchen, afraid of startling Cindy, and stoops close to her. She... (full context)
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Neni turns away, not wanting Cindy to see her look of surprise. She can’t give her... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Neni returns from the Hamptons and tells Betty about Cindy being a product of rape, to... (full context)
Chapter 24
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What Neni misses most after her departure from the Hamptons is the food, all of which was... (full context)
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The brunch takes place at June’s apartment, where Neni arrives the next Sunday afternoon. There are no more than six children there, and Neni... (full context)
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Neni walks the appetizers around the room before setting the leftovers on the table, always smiling... (full context)
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Cindy is the “kindest and politest” of everyone in the room, reminding Neni not to overexert herself. While watching Cindy laugh and chat with her friends, Neni finds... (full context)
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Neni figures that Cindy will one day stop drinking, which is a habit that Neni thinks... (full context)
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Anna wants to tell Clark about Cindy’s alcoholism, but Neni insists that they can’t. She walks to the kitchen, picks up a bottle of water,... (full context)
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During the brunch, Anna prompts Neni to talk to Clark, while people were starting to leave. Neni nods and starts walking... (full context)
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Neni stands with a tray of scones, unsure of what to say or how to say... (full context)
Chapter 25
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On the day that Vince is supposed to come over for his farewell dinner, Neni spends the day cleaning the apartment, shopping for groceries, and preparing the five-course dinner: egusi... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
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...Jende’s phone rings. Vince asks if it would be all right to bring Mighty along. Neni initially refuses, worried of what Cindy would think of her baby being in Harlem near... (full context)
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After Neni sets the table, Jende announces that it’s time to eat. He explains that, in Cameroon,... (full context)
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...go to Mighty’s house for a playdate. He says it so sweetly and sincerely that Neni avoids laughing out loud at the prospect of her child going to the Edwardses’ for... (full context)
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...Vince to let him stay longer and asks if Jende can take him home later. Neni tells Mighty that maybe she’ll go back to the Hamptons with him next summer, but... (full context)
Chapter 26
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...about the doublers. Cindy gives Jende the day off. He uses the time to help Neni around the house. He tells her to stop working, and then informs her that she’s... (full context)
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Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
One Monday morning, while Jende is folding clean clothes, Neni calls out to him in a voice that makes him think something’s going on with... (full context)
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...it, depending on how his court case goes. Without papers, he can’t get another job. Neni encourages him not to dwell on this but to be thankful that they were spared... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...tie. He notices, too, that Cindy looks different, as if in pain. After asking after Neni and Liomi, Cindy pushes a notebook toward Jende and asks him to write down every... (full context)
Chapter 30
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...Liomi questions the analogy, and Jende shouts at him to go do his homework, causing Neni to admonish him for shouting. Winston asks them to stop shouting before he “[swears] off... (full context)
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Jende tells Neni and Winston about his meeting with Cindy. They insist that Jende tell Cindy what she... (full context)
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...he’s merely Cindy’s chauffeur, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t feel sorry for her. Neni reminds Jende that, if Cindy decides to have him fired, it’s she who’ll cry, not... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...even happier, laughing at what “had transpired on the dance floor.” Back home, Jende tells Neni that he never thought a day would come would he would see the Edwardses so... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...asks if he can visit the Jongas. Jende says that, as glad as he and Neni would be to have him as a guest, his parents wouldn’t approve. Mighty suggests that... (full context)
Chapter 35
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When Jende and Neni’s baby girl is born in Harlem Hospital on December 10th, they believe that she’s their... (full context)
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...by with a box of size-two diapers a couple of days later, which he and Neni assume come from the Edwardses. A day later, a letter arrives from Immigration. It says... (full context)
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Jende talks to Neni about his asylum case. They agree to stick with Bubakar and encourage each other to... (full context)
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The Sunday before Christmas, while Jende is working, Neni takes the children to church. She takes the subway to Greenwich Village and enters a... (full context)
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Later that night, Neni tells Jende about how happy everyone was to welcome her, Liomi, and Timba to the... (full context)
Chapter 36
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Three days before Christmas, Natasha sends Neni an email, asking her to stop by Judson Memorial Church so that Natasha can get... (full context)
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Natasha tells Neni that the American immigration system can be cruel, but the church will stand and fight... (full context)
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When Jende comes home from work around midnight, Neni quickly serves him dinner and tells him about going to Judson. She says that Natasha... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...the afternoon, they eat rice and chicken stew, like most people in Limbe do, and Neni makes chin-chin and cake. The night before, the family watched It’s a Wonderful Life. For... (full context)
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...his head against the car seat. He thinks about the pain he’s experienced, not only Neni’s father sending him to prison, but also the “dread and despair” he experienced when Liomi... (full context)
Chapter 39
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At Judson Memorial Church, Neni listens to Natasha’s sermon about subjugating one’s ego and viewing oneself “as a vital piece... (full context)
Chapter 40
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...because too many people are lining up to drive livery cabs. When he returns home, Neni tells him not to worry because they have money saved. The following week, he gets... (full context)
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Neni begs Jende to let her go back to work. She knows that she could call... (full context)
Chapter 41
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Neni sits on a crosstown bus with a gift bag in her lap. She listens to... (full context)
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Neni walks toward the hall to apartment 25A. Anna opens the door and says that Cindy... (full context)
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Cindy emerges, mentioning that Anna said that Neni wanted to give her something. She reaches out to take the bag, which contains a... (full context)
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Neni asks Cindy if one of her friends might need a chauffeur. Cindy scoffs and says... (full context)
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Cindy demands that Neni leave and calls Anna to dial 911, saying that she’ll teach Neni “a lesson.” Neni... (full context)
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Cindy calls Neni “a filthy bitch” and tells her to name her price. She asks Neni how she... (full context)
Chapter 42
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After putting the children to bed, Neni counts the money. She goes to Jende, who’s watching a basketball game in the living... (full context)
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...did, but that Mr. Edwards had a right to do what he needed to do. Neni insists that she also had the same right. Jende says that he wants nothing to... (full context)
Chapter 43
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Anna calls Neni before six o’clock on the morning after Neni left the Edwardses’ apartment. She wants to... (full context)
Chapter 44
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Neni goes to Judson Memorial Church to help fold fundraising envelopes and stuff them into envelopes.... (full context)
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Neni understands and mentions a friend from work whose sister married a Jamaican man for papers... (full context)
Chapter 45
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Cindy Eliza Edwards dies on a cold afternoon in March 2009, five days after Neni walked out of her apartment. She was alone in bed because Clark was in London... (full context)
Chapter 46
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Jende tells Neni later about the funeral and talks about feeling sorry for Mighty. Neni suggests that they... (full context)
Chapter 47
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One day, Neni receives a letter from Phi Theta Kappa, inviting her to become a member. She’s reluctant... (full context)
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On the walk from the subway to her school, Neni imagines that the dean will be “a kindly old white man.” When she arrives to... (full context)
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Looking at his computer, Dean Flipkins notices that Neni plans to apply to pharmacy school after graduation and asks her why. Neni says that... (full context)
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When Jende comes home from work that night, Neni tells him nothing about her conversation with Dean Flipkins, except that she probably won’t get... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...with his head down for the entire ride. When he enters the apartment, he finds Neni wailing on her cell phone. At that moment, Jende allows himself to cry. (full context)
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...who charges him sixty dollars after finding out that the accidental health insurance plan that Neni purchased online is useless. The doctor, who works out of a windowless basement office, asks... (full context)
Chapter 49
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...he decides that it’s time to go back home. That night, after work, he tells Neni that he doesn’t want to remain in the United States. Neni stares at him, wanting... (full context)
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Neni suggests that they can move to Phoenix, but Jende says that the department store where... (full context)
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Jende tells Neni that much of what happened to get them to America happened because of Winston, who’s... (full context)
Chapter 50
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Neni refuses to return to Limbe. Since she was in her late twenties, all she could... (full context)
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While Fatou braids her hair, she tells Neni that she must stand behind her husband and not say no to him. Two days... (full context)
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Later, Neni stares at her face in the mirror and applies an exfoliating mask. She promises herself... (full context)
Chapter 51
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While Jende brushes his teeth, Neni mentions Betty’s cousin, who can help with get them papers if they pay him with... (full context)
Chapter 52
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...give him another visa. In regard to his wife and children, Timba is an American; Neni would be fine because no one would hold it against her that she arrived on... (full context)
Chapter 53
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Neni tells Natasha about her idea to offer Jerry the opportunity to adopt Liomi so that... (full context)
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Natasha asks if Neni is sure that Liomi will become a citizen if Jerry and his partner adopt him,... (full context)
Chapter 54
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Jende and Neni spend much of their time arguing. She calls him selfish, and he insists that America... (full context)
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...door to ask if everything is all right; he thought he heard a woman screaming. Neni answers from the floor that she’s okay. After the man leaves, Jende does, too. It... (full context)
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...all that he can to give them good lives in Cameroon. He tries to pull Neni into his arms and she pulls away, but she decides to forgive him because there’s... (full context)
Chapter 55
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While preparing to go to Olu’s mother-in-law’s seventieth birthday party, Neni gets an international call that she knows isn’t from Cameroon. She doesn’t answer because she’s... (full context)
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...now that Mighty and Clark are okay, he’ll probably never return to the U.S. permanently. Neni tells Vince how sorry she is about everything that happened. When Neni asks if he... (full context)
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Vince asks Neni to take her time to think about it, but Neni knows that she can’t take... (full context)
Chapter 56
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...from Air Maroc. He’ll be out of the country by August. He tells Bubakar that Neni isn’t happy to leave, but she’s packing. Bubakar warns Jende to make sure that Neni... (full context)
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Jende actually gives Neni more money than he intended because doing so was the only thing he could do... (full context)
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On a Sunday evening, Jende takes Neni to dinner at Red Lobster, while Winston and Maami watch their children, and tells Neni... (full context)
Chapter 57
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The ten thousand dollars Neni got from Cindy, along with the five thousand they saved and the three thousand that... (full context)
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Later that evening, Jende shares with Neni his idea about wholesaling food. She contemptuously asks him what he needs her opinion for.... (full context)
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When Neni tells Fatou about all that Jende has arranged, Fatou wonders why her husband, Ousmane, can’t... (full context)
Chapter 58
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Neni finds that, as the date of her departure comes closer, she can’t stop crying. She... (full context)
Chapter 59
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On the second Sunday of August, Natasha asks Neni if she can visit the Judson Memorial Church. Jende agrees to go, too. He wonders... (full context)
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After the service, congregants line up to shake hands with Neni and Jende and wish them well. A teenage girl nearly cries while telling Jende about... (full context)
Chapter 60
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...good times, like bad times, must come to an end. Clark sends his regards to Neni, while Jende sends special greetings to Mighty from him and Neni. (full context)
Chapter 61
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...departure, the apartment is empty, except for their luggage in a corner of the bedroom. Neni has given Betty, Fatou, Winston, and Maami her household items. She gave Natasha her unworn... (full context)
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With all of the bags packed and the travel clothes laid out, Neni looks out the window, thinking of what she may have forgotten to do. She’s forgotten... (full context)
Chapter 62
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...Maroc flight from JFK to Douala via Casablanca. On the cab ride to the airport, Neni stares out the window, seeing New York and America pass her by. Jende forces himself... (full context)
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...borrowed Ford pickup truck for the two-hour ride to Limbe. Just after seven o’clock, while Neni and the children sleep, the pickup drives under the red and white sign above the... (full context)