I hope you are well!
So I think this is going to become a thing ( I made a similar post a few months ago), at least once in a while. I finally ended the not-reading-non-school-books drought. I didn’t stop reading other books purposely, life has just been kind of happening and as I’ve said before, I suck at adulting.
I made a taking stock post few weeks ago and I mentioned I had ‘Three Daughters of Eve’ by Elif Shafak sitting on my side table and unfortunately I still haven’t read it but I hope to do so soon. Soft copies are kind of convenient right now ( I’ll forever prefer hard copies though ) because I don’t have a lot of free time and I don’t feel like carry extra load everywhere so reading on my phone is just easier.
STAY WITH ME- AYÒBÁMI ADÉBÁYÒ
First of all, I’m still hurt that this book has ended, like…. what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life now? Yeah that’s how good the book is!
I heard a lot of things about this book before I read it ( all good things ) and I actually ended up reading it twice!
This book was set in Osun state mostly ( especially Ile-Ife and Ilesha) but also Lagos and slightly in Jos. It touches on a lot of concepts ; Marriage, love,Polygamy, Unexpected friendships, infertility- male and female perspectives and the effects , family, sickle cell anaemia, rivalry, betrayal, Societal expectations, culture and politics.
Yejide, a graduate of University of Ife and the owner of Perfect Finish, a successful hair salon and Akinyele, aka Akin, the manager of Capital Bank were married for about 5 years without a child despite all their efforts when in true Yoruba fashion, Akin’s mother pressured him into marrying a second wife, Funmi, a decision he later realised was a ‘terrible miscalculation’
‘Have you ever seen God in a Labour room giving birth to a child? Tell me Yejide, have you ever seen God in a labour ward? Women manufacture children and if you can’t you are just a man. Nobody should call you a woman’ – Akin’s mum to Yejide on one occasion
Things basically went downhill from there with Yejide being more desperate to get pregnant to the extent of seeking the help of one Prophet Josiah of Mountain of Jaw-Dropping miracles.
‘Breastfeed the child’ – Prophet Josiah telling Yejide to feed the white goat without wound, blemish or a speck of another colour.
Yejide eventually had a child, she had children infact but this is just the beginning of the story, nowhere close to the middle, not to talk of the end. I don’t want to drop spoilers so you’d have to read the book yourself and I can tell you for a fact that you won’t be disappointed.
I like the fact that the book was written from two perspectives. Yejide’s perspective and Akin’s. It gave us the opportunity to learn about their different backgrounds and perhaps understand their actions to a certain extent;
Yejide from a polygamous home whose mother died at childbirth and never felt loved or loved any of her step mothers enough to call them ‘Moomi’
‘At night, they whispered…whispered instructions to their children not to be like me. After all, their children had mothers, living women, who cooked, had businesses and bushy armpits. Only motherless children, children like me, could misbehave like that.
-Yejide describing how it was growing up in her house.
Akin, equally from a polygamous family, the first son of his mother who inherently expected him to always do better and be better than all his other siblings especially those from his father’s other wives.
‘It’d been years since Moomi used him as an example. When I was much younger, she was always talking about him…… she stopped talking about Juwon when he decided to learn a trade after secondary school because his mother couldn’t afford to pay his university fees. Guess Moomi felt there was no way a boy trying to become a carpenter could ever measure up to her university trained children
-Akin pointing out his mothers expectation of him due to the unhealthy rivalry.
I also like the fact that there was a little political undertone, not too much, just the perfect amount. The couple dealt with their personal issues amidst the 1985 coup where Babangida overthrew Buhari and declared himself ‘President’ as though there was an election to that effect.
Stay with me was a great book to read and I highly recommend it to whoever is still on the fence about it or anyone looking for a great book by an African author!
If you’ve read the book, how did you find it? What lessons did you learn from it? And if there’s any book you think I’ll like to read / be interested in, feel free to suggest some for me ( especially African authors)
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