2017 releases · fiction

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Sometimes, a book just clicks with you. 

I got approved on Netgalley for this book long before it started getting so much buzz, before it’s nomination for the BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction . However, it sat on my Kindle for a while, because I had a tone of other ARCs waiting. But I finally picked it up and I loved it. 

This book is set in Nigeria, and it follows a couple who can’t have children. First of all, I have never read a book set in Nigeria. I loved learning about a different culture and the political backdrop of Nigeria worked really well with the book. It was never prominent, but it was always there, and it was incorporated into the story and added a new dimension to it.

Another thing I loved is the cultural aspects that drove the plot of this group. One thing that is prominent in the book is polygamy, and it was really interesting to read about that and sort of get into the mind of someone who is a second wife or someone who needs to take on a different wife. And it was never this big deal, it was important, but it did not sort of stick out, it was very natural, which I guess is the point. Another cultural aspect is the way not having children is perceived in the community, how people try to deal with it and how it becomes a concern not just to the couple, but their whole family.

I loved how flawed the characters were. They made really big mistakes, but they were never defined by them. You could still feel for them even though you are aware of how bad their decisions were. The dynamic between Yejide and Akin (our main characters) was really well done. It was so real, and gritty, and it felt so raw.

I loved how Yejide had to struggle with the fact that she can’t have kids. And how Adebayo showed us how Yejide felt on the topic, her deepest fears and emotions and how it was all tied to that sentiment. I also loved how we saw what a child meant to her, a final thing that’s completely her own. I loved it. It was so well written and so beautiful.

The ending was very emotional, but also rewarding. I loved everything about it. Not going to spoil anything, but just everything made so much sense, even if it was sad and difficult, it was exactly what it needed to be.

Highly, highly, recommend this one. Not only is it beautiful, it offers a view into a different setting and culture, and it’s a completely rewarding reading experience.

Final verdict: 4.5 stars

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xxx

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3 thoughts on “Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

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