An African Village Versus an American Oil Company

Entirely fictional, from the village to the oil company, it is clear as one engages with the characters and the story that How Beautiful We Were is written from deeply engrained experiences and powerful frustration. I really enjoyed Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue's first book, so when I saw she had a new release on the horizon I sought out an advance galley. Her writing does not disappoint, and the story itself is strong and the characters memorable and relatable. For me, the story loses steam and I struggled to maintain my investment in the outcome as the overwrought frustration and lack of hope continued on over the generations in the story. I stop short of requiring a happy ending in my favorite books, but I have to be honest and say I need to leave a book feeling some sort of hope. And this one left me feeling entirely hopeless. Perhaps that was the point. For my full review, click on the image above

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