Sunday, 7 January 2018

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

This lil book was all the rave last year. It's a debut novel by Ayobami Adebayo  and it was shortlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize which is the first time I heard about it. Now, I'm just going to get this out of the way.

Lets👏stop👏comparing👏all 👏black👏female👏writers👏to👏Chimamanda.   Please. 
Because another reason I kept hearing about it was because it kept on being recommended to me ... was because I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. 

Yes they are both Nigerian.
Yes they are both women.
Yes they both write books.

But they are not the same.  
And it just meant I had really different expectations going in. Because when you tell me a book is like another writer's books, I think you mean similar in terms of style. And then I can't stop comparing the two writers when I'm reading and I don't want to do that ! I just want to enjoy the book for what it is.  

Now, I did enjoy reading this book and I couldn't put it down. But the not all African writers are the same okay fab.

Stay With Me is about a couple that fall in love and it's all fab and blissful and everything is going well. And then two years into the marriage our main character, Yejide, has not produced a child despite the fact that they've been trying ever since they got married; and she's absolutely devastated. Despite being super smart and a successful businesswoman, she doesn't feel fulfilled so it's really difficult for her and was pretty heartbreaking to read. Akin, her husband doesn't seem too fussed. I think he's more upset by the fact that she's so devastated and there's nothing he can really do about it, especially when she slips into a depression.  But his family are so embarrassed by the situation to the point where his mum, gets him an additional wife, so that she can produce a child. 


I'll have to stop there I'm afraid because what ensues next is a little crazy and in heavy spoiler zone. There are quite a few juicy twist and turns that I mean no-one will see coming and it gave me such Nollywood vibes at times which I bloody loved !

But I was super impressed by such a bold choice of theme for a debut novel ! Infertility, at least in West African communities isn't really openly discussed. There's still unfortunately a stigma attached to it and women who cannot have children or chose not to, I think are still sort of shamed or mocked, some people may think you're cursed or its punishment etc etc etc. And this isn't just an African thing, it presents itself a little differently here. Women are still generally expected to want children. And if you don't, people tend to think you've got some deep rooted childhood trauma, or you're just selfish. And infertility is still met with a lot of faux sympathy. 

Yejide really takes all of this pressure on and the weight of it all was so well executed. I will certainly be reading anything that Ayobami brings out now !




  1. I really want to get back into reading - it;s a great way to de-stress x

    1. it iss! it's the only way I completely switch off


Blogger Template Created by pipdig