Disturbed in Their Nests

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

Captivating, suspenseful, entertaining novel! This beautiful story kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading it! Would highly recommend to those who enjoy this genre.
Was this review helpful?
Just like the previous book, this book is wonderful. While the other book is about their journey in Sudan, this book is about their lives in America.

I enjoyed reading how they ajusted to a new culture and had a laugh reading about the misunderstandings of the language and customs.
Was this review helpful?
Disturbed in Their Nests is a memoir written by Alephonsion Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, and his mentor Judy A. Bernstein, covering the time Alepho, his brother Benson and cousin Leno arrived in San Diego as refugees with flashbacks to their lives in Sudan and the nine years they spent in Kenya's Refugee Camp Kakuma housing 100,000 people.  Their resettlement in the United States finally happened in the summer of 2001.  And talk about culture shock.... 

This is a must read for all Americans.  We are again facing an immigration crisis in the US, and too many of us have forgotten the cost of our freedom - the assimilation of others downtrodden and homeless through no fault of their own.  They must be welcomed just as most of us were at some point in history.  

I received a free electronic copy of this memoir from Netgalley, Alephonsion Dent and Judy A. Bernstein and Blackstone Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
Was this review helpful?
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
From the publisher --- 

Nineteen-year-old refugee Alephonsion Deng, from war-ravaged Sudan, had great expectations when he arrived in America three weeks before two airlines crashed into the World Trade Towers. Money, he’d been told, was given to you in pillows. Machines did all the work. Education was free.
Suburban mom Judy Bernstein had her own assumptions. The teenaged “Lost Boys of Sudan”—who’d travelled barefoot and starving for a thousand miles—needed a little mothering and a change of scenery: a trip to the zoo, perhaps, or maybe the beach.
Partnered through a mentoring program in San Diego, these two individuals from opposite sides of the world began an eye-opening journey that radically altered each other’s vision and life.
Disturbed in Their Nests recounts the first year of this heartwarming partnership; the initial misunderstandings, the growing trust, and, ultimately, their lasting friendship. Their contrasting points of view provide of-the-moment insight into what refugees face when torn from their own cultures and thrust into entirely foreign ones.
Alepho struggles to understand the fast-paced, supersized way of life in America. He lands a job but later is viciously beaten. Will he ever escape violence and hatred?
Judy faces her own struggles: Alepho and his fellow refugees need jobs, education, housing, and healthcare. Why does she feel so compelled and how much support should she provide?
The migrant crises in the Middle East, Central America, Europe, and Africa have put refugees in the headlines. Countless human tragedies are reduced to mere numbers. Personal stories such as Alepho’s add a face to the news and lead to a greater understanding of the strangers among us. Readers experience Alepho’s discomfort, fears, and triumphs in a way that a newscast can’t convey. This timely and inspiring personal account will make readers laugh, cry, and examine their own place in the world.

This book had me in stitches - I kept highlighting sentence after sentence as I laughed my way through their introduction to America- a love of soda pop, shredding pillows, the outrage of having to go to the bathroom INSIDE, especially when the toilet was right beside the kitchen ... how dirty that seemed to the men!  It took me a while to get used to the reading style as the author would tell the story from the men's perspective and then Judy's: once I figured that out, I was more understanding of the repetitiveness.
The book reminded me of the movie "The Good Lie" which also dealt with Sudanese immigrants getting used to living in America and their sponsor's struggles to get them settled. Given the refugee crisis worldwide this is a must-read book for any book club or person with a soft spot in their heart for helping people. One thing I don't like about e-books is their lack of photos of the authors- that I would love to see in the book vs. having to google them. 

5 stars!!!  This is so going to be a #bookclubpick
Was this review helpful?
I read They Poured Fire On Us From The Sky back in 2012 (review is linked for anyone interested), and still remember how the stories of the brothers and their cousin affected me. The stories of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan still haunt me today, even more so now that I have my own children.

They Poured Fire on Us From The Sky was written by Alephonsion Deng, Benson Deng, and Benjamin Ajak, with their mentor Judy Bernstein’s help. In it each of the men recounts leaving their villages when they were still very young, fleeing from those attacking them, and the harrowing treks through Sudan to Ethiopia, back to Sudan, and finally to a refugee camp in Kenya where they remained for years before being granted refugee status in the US. Disturbed In Their Nests is written by Judy and Alepho and is a memoir of the first year of their life in the US. I love the composition of the memoir, as chapters alternate between the two voices, as if they were right back there in 2001. It allows us to see both Judy and Alepho’s perceptions of everything, which leads to some comical areas, but also to some very sad parts too, especially when a certain term we all use in the US is completely misunderstood by Alepho, which ends up causing him harm.

Benson and Benjamin’s voices are also often heard through Judy and Alepho’s narrative, as well as their other roommates James and Daniel’s experiences. Alepho also recounts some of his experiences as a young boy fleeing his home, as well as life in the refugee camp during his chapters. After finishing this book I honestly feel like I am on first name basis with all of them: their voices are so real, so heartwarming, but also so devastatingly raw. You cannot read this book without taking a serious look at your own life in order to find areas where you can really do better. These children, and now adults, survived despite the odds being stacked so hard against them, and I don’t think we can even begin to imagine what it took to continue living despite the conditions around them.

In my opinion this book, as well as many others, should be on high school curriculums. We need to understand the importance of refugee programs, and why we should be accepting people from all countries in conflict, not just picking and choosing based on country and religion. The number of resettled refugees in the US dropped by tens of thousands in 2017, and this country has more than enough space and resources to welcome many, many more people than that. No child should ever have to witness what Alepho, Benson, and Benjamin did, but there are so many children who are facing similar harrowing ordeals all over the world.

Other excellent books to read on the subjects of the “Lost Boys” and Sudan in general can be found right here. Saviors and Survivors by Mahmood Mamdani provides an in-depth analysis of Darfur which I found to be a very important read personally. You can find more general information on the extent of the refugee crisis in Sudan here, or you can watch a documentary on two of the Lost Boys here.
Was this review helpful?