I received a galley copy of this book from Knopf Doubleday Public Catalog and Netgalley for an honest review. Thank you for the advanced copy because I was really excited about this book.
A lot of the BookTubers in the UK were raving about this book, especially after it was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. The premise sounded intriguing and I am really interested in stories that take place in Nigeria after reading a few things earlier this year.
Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage–after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures–Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant, which, finally, she does, but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family. (Goodreads synopsis)
This story explores familial and societal pressures on one strong women and to a seemingly strong marriage. There were a lot of unexpected twist and turns in this book that really made you connect with Yejide and even gave some understanding to Nigerian customs and practices. I laughed during some parts. Got teary-eyed during others and could actually feel Yejide’s despair and heartache. This is a fairly short book and I never felt that it was rushed or that Adebayo tried to put too much in the novel. Every plot point and character felt essential to the story.
Stay With Me is Ayobami Adebayo‘s first novel and I will indeed read anything else that she comes out with because this book was phenomenal. The writing was simplistic but in the best way possible. Adebayo is a direct story teller but she holds back just enough to keep you engaged and wanting to know what is going to happen next. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
The US release for this book is August 22, 2017, and you can preorder a copy here.
Have you read this book? Are you going to pick it up? Let me know in the comments.