Stay With Me (Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀)

  "Even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it's in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn't mean it's no longer love.”

"Even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it's in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn't mean it's no longer love.”

Nigeria / 2017

"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."— Penguin Random House

Mini-Review:

I finished Stay With Me a few days ago. This novel is basically a picture of a marriage in crisis: the wife can't have children, and the husband and his family constantly pressure her to do so. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Adebayo weaves a complicated tale full of twists and turns, identifying and critiquing cultural marriage practices and notions of masculinity. It hurts to read a woman try over and over again to be a "good wife." It was honestly claustrophobic to see a character boxed in by so many restricting rules and mores. This story was solid and tightly woven, which I appreciate. But at times the melodrama was a tad too much, and the pacing was often uneven. Nonetheless, this novel made me think. Mostly about how I never want to get married. 😳 Have you read Stay With Me? What did you think about it? Since I couldn't put this heart-wrenching and lovely book down, I'm giving it 4.3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️