Dream Country is the heartbreaking story of five generations of young people from a single African-and-American family pursuing an elusive dream of freedom. The story starts in Minneapolis with 17-year-old Kollie Flomo, who begins to crack under the strain of life as a Liberian refugee. When his actions turn violent, his parents send him back to Liberia. Like Kollie, readers travel back to Liberia, but also back in time, to the early twentieth century and the story of Togar Somah, an 18-year-old Indigenous Liberian on the run from government militias. When Togar’s section draws to a shocking close, the novel jumps back to America in 1827 to the children of Yasmine Wright, who leave a Virginia plantation for a chance at freedom in Liberia. With each new section, the novel uncovers fresh hope and resonating heartbreak, all based on historical fact.
By Shannon Gibney
2018, Penguin Books, $10.99