A New York Times Notable Book
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Named a Best Book of the Year by San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, The Economist, Buzzfeed, Paste Magazine, Southern Living, HelloGiggles, and Shelf Awareness
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The New York Public Library’s Ten Best Books of the Year
"A stunning debut novel." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
This celebrated, unforgettable first novel (“A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit.” –The Guardian), 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Nigerian novelist Ayobami Adebayo’s debut is astonishing and heartbreaking. An assured, emotionally precise domestic drama, Stay with Me is the story of Yejide and Akin's faltering marriage, their shared struggle to start a family, and their individual attempts to manage the crushing weight of familial expectations. We can't wait to read more from Adebayo, who writes with a fierceness and insight that reverberate on every page.
Adebayo explores the toll the intense pressure to have children exacts on one Nigerian couple across two decades. Akin's large family disrupts his and Yejide's happy but childless marriage by forcing him into a polygamous marriage without his wife's knowledge. This betrayal and a last-ditch visit to a holy man convince Yejide that she is pregnant and she begins a year-long psychosomatic pregnancy. Just when she finally accepts that there will be no child, Akin's brother Dotun seduces and impregnates her. The child is eagerly welcomed as Akin's own, especially by his imposing mother. The happiness ends abruptly with the seemingly accidental death of Akin's second wife. As subsequent traumas multiply between the couple, Adebayo slowly reveals their unspoken shame by having both narrate chapters covering the same events. Yejide's strong ache to be a mother and her frustration with traditional Yoruba culture make her a complex character. Adebayo shows great promise in her debut novel. Her methodical exposure of her characters' secrets forces the reader into continual reevaluations and culminates in a tender, satisfying conclusion.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this group. I felt like I was one of the characters, that’s how good it is! The raw emotion and relatable issues conveyed in the novel are superb! Definitely worth it!
Amazing. Very heart felt!!!!
I loved this book so much. It took my on a journey. I liked that I could not predict what would happen next. It made me cry!! Totally amazing
Beauty Within Tragedy
This story is well written and delves deeply into the lengths couples will go to conceive a child. It’s sad that society puts so much pressure on people to have children, and the author does a great job of showing the role that family members and friends play in the pressure to be parents.