Thursday 28 February 2019

Stay With Me (Book Review)

Ayobami Adebayo’s debut novel is about a young married couple, Yejide and Akin, who have remained childless after 4 years of marriage. They have to face the emotional pressures from their families and live with the stigma placed by the society on a childless family. All of this occurs in the middle of a political transition from the early 80s to 2000 in Nigeria, where the military coups are springing up and armed robbers have the boldness to write letters to their hosts before visiting.

Stay With Me revolves around Akin and Yejide’s relationship and how their marriage is put to test as a result of their childlessness. This predicament questions the validity of their marriage, the couple’s family’s agreement to bring in a new wife and Yejide’s desperation to conceive first, thereby visiting several miraculous prophets and having a mental condition that makes her believe that she is carrying a child.

Yejide surprisingly gets pregnant and a new curse haunts her children with deaths. So Yejide, who have waited for long to conceive, begins to dread her child.

Following the death of her two children, she gives up and believes that her children’s destinies are not to stay with her.

This period sheds light to several secrets and tales that have been untold. The suspense unravels, giving the readers an overwhelming feeling of emotions and bewilderment.

Ayobami Adebayo makes use of two narrating voices; Akin and Yejide, and dates the readers back to scenarios that occurred years ago. The reader is put in suspense and given access to the pain, insecurity, fears, ego, and loneliness of the main characters in the story, which leads to the decisions they make.

Who are the main characters?
The main characters are Akin and Yejide, who are married. They shed light on several issues in the life of a married couple, such as love, hatred, ego, deceit, and patience.

Adventures of the main characters
Yejide shows us what it means to be childless as a woman in the Nigerian society. Yejide, who grows up in a polygamous family without love, she is more than desperate to have someone to call her own. She needs someone to look for her when she is nowhere to be found.

Akin shows that love is the foundation of every relationship and with love, several things will fall in place. The character shows us what it means to fall in love at first sight and strive to prove your love for a person, stand by her side and support her. The character also displays the consequences of hiding the truth and deceiving those that are very close to you. It can cost you your happiness, love, and trust.

Main issues in the story
Stay With Me centres on patriarchy, polygamy, love, betrayal, loss and sickle cell disease.

What I love about the story
The ‘localization’ of the story by adopting ‘Yoruba English’ in some conversations and the use of songs and proverbs makes the story beautiful and culture-rich. The suspense makes the story very captivating; it captures the readers and makes them eager to see how the truth unravels.

Flaws I observed in the story
There are some confusions and inconsistencies in the story. Flashbacks to past incidents were sometimes made without proper organization. Also, the narratives of the two voices are inter-changed between chapters in a less organized way.

Do I like the book?
I love Stay With Me and I enjoyed every part of the story. It was captivating and very engaging.

Would I recommend this book to another person?
Of course, I would! I’ll recommend this book to all readers because it is worth reading!!!

Do you want a free e-copy of this book, send a mail now (