A New York Times Notable Book • “A thoroughly contemporary—and deeply moving—portrait of a marriage.... In the lineage of great works by Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.” —The New York Times Book Review
Ilesa, Nigeria. Ever since they first met and fell in love at university, Yejide and Akin have agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage—after consulting fertility doctors and healers, and trying strange teas and unlikely cures—Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time—until her in-laws arrive 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.
The unforgettable story of a marriage as seen through the eyes of both husband and wife, 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.
This book was so good it was hard to read at times because of the tragedies but definitely a great story about betrayal, infertility and family. Also shed light on Nigerian culture and government. Binge worthy!
Lovely and original
A beautiful story that is beautifully written. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read.
Waste of time