Ayòbámi Adébáyò | Nigeria
Infertility. Polygamy. Communication. Betrayal. Sacrifice. Family. Obsession. In Nigeria, married couple Yejide and Akin are being swallowed by the pressure from his family to conceive a baby. Akin’s mother in particular has taken it as such a personal slight, that she forces him to take a second wife, betraying the promise that he and Yejide made about introducing polygamy into their relationship. But Yejide has lost her leverage after having tried everything she has been advised to do and she still unable to conceive.
This book is going to take you through the dangerously obsessive lows that comes with the desperation of wanting a child. You will feel the pressure from your in-laws who look at you as worthless because you can’t conceive. You will feel haunted by the customs that isolate and label you as worse than unlucky and you will be expected to accept the decisions made by others for your marriage for the sake of saving face for those outside it. Yejide drags so much mental baggage filled to the brim by her in-laws and her husband, that she sinks deeper and deeper into insecurity. Your mind will scream that someone or something should give her relief.
This is such a gripping novel that explores the role of extended family in dictating what is expected of the younger generation. That despite the changes in mindset that some may have about the life they want to live, traditions and family obligations take precedence at the expense of being ostracized. Highly dangerous is the belief that women are always to blame in matters of child bearing.
Adébáyò chose to explore a taboo subject of infertility and childless marriages in Nigeria with characters that are flawed, in pain, yet shackled to customs that they are unable to break free of while respecting that same custom. It’s an interesting juxtaposition for many couples who may want to live outside of what is expected, but face ridicule from family. This is my first book by Adébáyò, but I’m now such a fan of her writing that I’m ready to read anything she produces in the future.
First published: 2017
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