*WARNING: DEFINITELY INCLUDES SPOILERS*
I stumbled upon this book while on my regular visit to the “African Fiction” section of the bookstore. I had never even heard of it, but something about the blurb hooked me. So I read the book and finished it in about 5 days. Here a few of my thoughts on this piece.
Yejide: The main character, Akin’s wife.
Akin: Yejide’s husband
Moomi: Akin’s mother
Dotun: Akin’s brother
Funmi: Akin’s second wife
(the story is told mainly from Yejide’s point of view, but Akin’s perspective is the focus a few times)
Akin and yejide have been married for about 4 years and have failed to conceive a child. They have pressure coming at them, especially from Akin’s mother, Moomi to have a child. Moomi convinces him to take a second wife, Funmi, so that he can have this child. The story mainly focuses on Yejide’s desire to have a child of her own, and the lengths she goes to.
Akin and Yejide hadalways agreed that polygamy was never going to be an option for them. But when Akin takes a second wife (to Yejide’s surprise), betrayal becomes a common theme for their marriage. Akin keeps secrets from his wife, especially about his fertility, which results in a planned, set-up affair between Dotun and Yejide.
Once Yejide finally has a child, the child is diagnosed with sickle cell and later dies. She then has another child but this second child basically repeats the history of the first. She has a third child but when the third child gets sick, Yejide assumes the worst and decides to move on with her life, without Akin and her daughter.
Fast-forward to a few years, Yejide returns to the town she left, and she runs into Akin and a teenage girl, who turns out to be the child she left years ago, named Rotimi (Stay with me).
Questions I have after finishing the book:
- Do Akin and Yejide ever reconcile?
- What happens with Yejide and her daughter’s relationship?
- Who was wrong: The man who convinces his brother to sleep with his wife in order to conceive a child, knowing he was impotent… or the wife who sleeps with her husband’s brother?
“If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.”
A gripping love story, infused with comments on fertility, tradition, societal expectations, trust and the pressures of marriage.
I loved this book. I don’t think I have ever read a book with such a plotline. It was definitely a good read and I could barely put the book down. A real page-turner. Brilliant piece of work.
I rated this book a solid 4/5.
You should definitely have a read if you haven’t already. If you have, what are your thoughts on this book?
Until next review.