Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

Dream Things TrueThere are so many people I know who need to read this book. Seriously, if you’ve never given a second thought to immigration laws or reform, if you’ve never really cared much about the thousands of undocumented workers in the U.S., THIS is the book for you.

Before reading this book, I had no idea how to articulate my opinions and views on the issue of immigration. I had opinions (don’t we all), but I couldn’t explain them as well as I wanted to be able to. Marie Marquardt does it beautifully, and all while writing a story that is both compelling and interesting in its own right.

What I liked about Dream Things True is that it isn’t just political propaganda. It’s a story about love and loss and family, and it cuts straight to the heart of what really matters (at least in my opinion). It’s about seeing people as people, and not treating them as other or inferior or less than. I think more people could use that message.

Alma has dreams of leaving her small town behind and studying anthropology at a great university, and she’s got the brains to back it up. The only problem is precisely nine digits long. See, Alma doesn’t have a social security number. She’s undocumented, and that could cost her (and her family) everything. But the thing is – Alma has lived in the US since she was just two years old – it’s not like she came over from Mexico of her own volition or in her adult years. She’s been raised in the U.S. and her small Georgian town is the only home she’s ever really known. There are plenty of other cases like hers, and this book is rife with insights into the lives of the undocumented. Almost Alma’s entire family, for instance, works at a chicken killing factory, which is just as nightmarish as it seems. But this is the only way they can support their family and survive. Not that it matters to their neighbors, who are about as anti-immigration as one can get.

And of course, who does Alma fall in love with but the nephew of a senator whose entire platform stands on the legs of intense and militaristic anti-immigration reforms? And, of course, Evan is different. He actually cares about Alma and her family. But does that change anything? Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out. All I can say is this: if you want a look into illegal immigration from the other side, this is really a well-written, and often fun, read, that’ll certainly give you brain plenty to chew on. I know it did mine.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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