Thursday 19 April 2018

Review: Stay with Me

Stay with Me Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As the wife of Akin, Yejide's primary role is to provide a child. It is what her mother in law, Moomi wants too, as well as the wider family and it is the miracle that Yejide wants too. It has driven her to seek answers from God, drag a goat to the top of Mountain of Jaw Dropping Miracles, undertake a pilgrimage and even consult the western medicine that some Nigerians are adopting. Akin's relatives insist that he has to take a new wife to uphold the family honour, this is a step too far for Yejide and she will fight it with all her strength. She has a phantom pregnancy and sails past the usual nine months, but still no baby.

Akin's brother, Dotun, marriage has just imploded, and he has moved in with them. He has a reputation as a womaniser and Yejide begins to consider that this may be the way that she can get the child that she and in particular her husband's family crave.

Is a story full of love, life, death, tragedy with uplifting moments, all with the politics of the country as a turbulent backdrop. Yejide is in between cultures as the old Nigerian ways clash with the new world and Western medicine and there is plenty of deceit and lies as the plot twist and turns and the truths are laid bare for each person in the family to see. I thought it almost had too much going on with the subplots but it was neatly executed. The characters are flawed and believable and occasionally funny and shows the pressure that a can placed on one individual to perform what is expected of her. Adebayo has conveyed the way the county works through this small family is a style that is definitely her own. If you like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie then you should give this a go.

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