Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo

Stay With Me I read in a single afternoon. Set in 1980’s Nigeria Yejide is wishing for a baby. A baby that will not come. A baby wanted by her husband. A baby wanted by her mother-in-law. Yejide finds herself trying everything, rational and not, and when this baby still does not come a second wife is insisted upon by the relatives. This leads to anger, jealousy, despair and so the reader follows Yejide’s struggles.

 

From the very beginning I found myself immediately hooked on the characters and the story. Stay With Me is definitely a heart-breaker – even more so if you are a parent so consider yourself warned but is more definitely worth the read. A morally ambiguous story the reader is left to ponder who is the villain and who is the victim or can you be a bit of both? Do we always have a choice in our actions? The moral considerations are endless and remainder with me for days.

 

I found both the voices of Yejide and her husband Akin  equally enlightening and fascinating throughout the novel and I enjoyed the shift in time periods that ocured. The writing was beautiful and some passages spoke to my soul. The reader definitely develops an emotional attachment to the story and I loved the ambiguity in the characters and their moral dilemmas. A fast-paced and easy read Stay With Me has a memorable plot and characters. A beautiful and heart-breaking piece of work I understand the inclusion in this years Women’s Prize shortlist. I give Stay With Me four stars and urge you all to read it.

 

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