Book Review: Stay With me

Book Review: Stay With me

I was eyeing this book for months in the library before I bought it. Something about the cover sparked my interest. I also love Nigerian literature, so reading it was a must!

Synopsis:

« This celebrated, unforgettable first novel, shortlisted for the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction and set in Nigeria, gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage–and the forces that threaten to tear it apart. 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.« 

My opinion:

Magnificent book! It’s a masterpiece of a novel!

« Stay with me » is a novel about a marriage and the ups and downs that life throws in all shape: Society, Family, Personal upbringing… This novel follows the journey of Yejide and Akin as they face potential fertility issues and the shadow of polygamy. You’ll see to what extend they are « willing » to go to get what they really want.

This book is really powerful and full of love, you feel it in every page. The story is well written, easy to follow throughout the chapters and the protagonists background stories and choices provide a good understanding of the situation. This book is touching so many relevant and important subjects in a very just way: Grieve, infertility, polygamy, gossip, superstitions, jealousy… The author keeps you hooked from the beginning and doesn’t fall into the stereotypes trap. The narrative style is easy to understand even if your English level is not perfect, descriptions are sufficient and the focus is set on the dialog and the internal monologues.

« Stay with me » offers a window on the Nigerian society and culture. We see a bit of the political situation before the independence as the book is set between the mid 1980s and 2008. The constant dilemma between traditions and modernity is smartly approached in this book, it really is really a work of art. This view on what we can call « Contemporary Nigeria » makes you want to book a plane to Lagos to see it and to hear the sounds and taste the cuisine mentioned in the book.

Yejide is really well described and even though you can’t agree with all her decision, she grows on you. The focus that the author made on her upbringing and how it affected her makes you understand why motherhood is so important to her and you feel that throughout the book.

« Stay with me » is an emotional slap and the type of book that stays with you for a long time. You will get hooked until the last page! It’s one of the best books I read these last years! I really advice you to get it 😀