The Battlefield is a story of inner passion that deals with the struggles of African immigrants in realizing their American dreams. The struggle of passionate desire to survive the huddles of naturalization, called the baptism of fire, brings them face to face with the realities of living in a strange land. This struggle is compounded with some negative reception they encounter with some of their African-American brethren, who ironically feel threatened by their presence. This conflict is the beauty of the book and is not resolved till the end of the story.
The plot unravels in a letter-writing technique, with a funeral setting, and an unknown voice that expects to receive the letter that details events that occurred before the funeral. The letter also reveals the memories and victims of the Battlefield.
The Micky bar becomes the centerpoint for emotional release by all the immigrants who gather here each day to share their various challenging experiences, which in one way or the other have shaped their destinies. By sharing these shattered dreams with new members of the club, the club serves as a template to new arrivals in town on the code of conduct to be adhered to if their American dreams will ever be realized.
The Battlefield adds a new twist to the American Dream. It is told through a cross-cultural dimension with different human comparisons in sharp contrasting views. It brings the dead and the living side by side as both share their stories with high expectations of what would happen to the unborn as signified by the mailman, who was expected from the beginning of the story but only arrives toward the end.
The book outlines the pains and shackles of survival. It also points out the fact that the condition of the poor, represented by the beggars on the train in Africa and the homeless ones in the train tunnel in San Francisco, all over the world is the same. The society is not doing enough to protect them. The link between them is always the drive to break that yoke of poverty. It is that drive that results in their success or doom. At the end of the day, no system all over the world is perfect. The plot and subplots are carefully woven around a lone voice battling depression and societal oppression. He tells his story in an open letter. As he writes his story, he tells our own very stories of our everyday struggles to pay bills in America and the challenges the poor face in burying their loved one in Africa because of high cost of funeral rites.
This is a well-crafted story on how to overcome depression through willpower and how to become successful in life in the face of daunting challenges. This book is a proof that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. God is real and will always be there for us. He never gives up on us, no matter what.