Waterloo Region Record - - Books -

“Stay With Me” by Ay­obami Ade­bayo (Al­fred A. Knopf, 2017; 257 pages)

Ye­jide and Akin have been in love since they met in univer­sity; they are hap­pily mar­ried and suc­cess­ful in their ca­reers, but there’s one thing caus­ing strife among them and their fam­ily: Ye­jide has not had any chil­dren yet and Akin’s fam­ily is in­sist­ing he take a sec­ond wife. When Akin gives in, break­ing his vow to Ye­jide, she fills with jeal­ousy to­ward her new ri­val and is sad­dened at the loss of her mother-in-law’s sup­port. She had been the only woman of her fa­ther-in-law’s many wives who treated her as a daugh­ter. As Ye­jide re­sists be­com­ing first wife in­stead of only wife, she goes to greater lengths to give birth than she ever has be­fore. Akin does what he can to be­come a fa­ther and keep Ye­jide happy, but each­will ex­pe­ri­ence more grief be­fore they learn of each other’s se­crets and the depths they’ve each gone to in or­der to save their mar­riage. In the end, will love over­come?

This well-writ­ten de­but from Ade­bayo goes deep into the sub­ject of in­fer­til­ity and fam­ily while cre­at­ing ex­cit­ing im­pres­sions of the Nige­rian land­scape. Ade­bayo sets Ye­jide and Akin’s fam­ily tur­moil against the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal up­heaval of the 1980s.

Jen­nifer Cyr is co-or­di­na­tor of li­brary col­lec­tions for the Re­gion of Water­loo Li­brary. She rec­om­mends:

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