"Living the Dream" by Isabelle Dupuy (English Edition)
Safe in their love, Tom and Naomi Barnes pursue their dream of family and prosperity as transplants to a London brimming with immigrants and opportunities. Tom works long hours for a super hedge fund and Naomi, while bringing up their boys, is commissioned by fellow prep school mum and immigrant Solange Wolf, to write her memoir. Solange’s story of survival and triumph, from the slums in Haiti to becoming an executive with a Fortune 500 company, and inter-racially married to an equally successful man, has a profound effect on Naomi, herself a mixed-race transplant from Colombia married to a white British man full of ambition and potential. Everyone she knows back in Cartagena, including her own mother would kill for a marriage like hers.
As Tom grows in wealth and power, he assumes control over the direction of his family’s life, including the direction of Naomi’s. She feels herself shrinking into a cardboard cutout of herself, adorned in beautiful clothes, diamond jewelry, and all the trappings of money. She watches Tom create a life that has no need for her as a woman, only as a mother and trophy wife. When Tom tells her, he is voting Brexit to please his boss, Naomi finally decides to take action.
She heads to Solange’s house where she finds a heartbroken Solange who declares that her husband has suddenly left her for a younger woman pregnant with his child. Despite the years of hard work, she implores Naomi to burn the manuscript, insisting her entire life has become a lie. With this rash request, Naomi starts to doubt not only Solange’s grasp on reality but her own, and although the two women try to heal, their wounds run deep, and London, without the backing of powerful men, is now a strange and alienating backdrop against which they must redefine themselves.