Stay With Me

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Set amidst the unstable political climate of Nigeria in the eighties, Stay With Me is an emotionally stirring examination of the desperate actions some are willing to take when biology refuses to align with societal and personal expectations. View all 23 comments. It's not easy being a modern woman in Nigeria. Old customs and family traditions are nothing but a 'pain-in-the ass' for Yejide and her husband Akin. You'd think having a baby was the most important thing in the frickin world!

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Says who??? I was crackin up!! Shame on me for laughing? I'd like to believe it might have been the author's intention for me to laugh, too. Such a wonderful sense of humor she has - it shows up in her writing. Plenty of secrets, betrayal, jealousy, grief, anger, Awesome debut novel! View all 21 comments. Wow, this was absolutely intense. The whole book is intensely, compulsively readable and I sped through it in two sittings and it only took two sittings because I had to sleep inbetween. Ayobami Adebayo tells the story of a marriage, its desintegration, and the hurt happening along the way.

We first meet Yejide at a time when she hasn't seen her husband in 14 years and is now preparing to return for his father's funeral, then the story shifts back to the past where the couple is desperately tr Wow, this was absolutely intense.

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We first meet Yejide at a time when she hasn't seen her husband in 14 years and is now preparing to return for his father's funeral, then the story shifts back to the past where the couple is desperately trying to have a child. Both their families blame Yejide, going even so far as to arrange a second wife for her husband, Akin. This addition of a second wife is the starting point of a grueling few years and of a spiral of hurt and viciousness and painful mistakes.

What impressed me the most about this debut novel is the way Ayobami Adebayo created characters who are unpleasant and flawed and intensely aggrevating but still managed to make me feel and root for them. Yejide's intense wish for children and everything she goes through to have them was absolutely heartbreaking - and everybody's reaction to her 'failure' made my blood boil. While she herself is not without serious flaws her reactions and even her stupid decisions made sense considering the immense pressure she is under, for pretty much the whole book.

This is not a hopeful book; I feel the need to point that out. The situation the couple find themselves in is so unbelievably unpleasant that it is a wonder that the Yejide we meet in the beginning to able to function at all. This tightly woven book is an impressive debut novel - not because of any fancy language but just based on the strength of the characters created.

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I am absolutely thrilled to see it on the Bailey's prize longlist and I am looking forward to reading Ayobami Adebayo's next book. Thanks for that! View all 20 comments. Aug 04, Angela M rated it liked it Shelves: netgalley-reviews. Desperate to have a child, hopefully a son, a young Nigerian couple struggle to meet the expectations of family and society.

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The story reflects a culture in which a woman's role is seen as bearing a child for her husband in a society where multiple wives are acceptable, especially if the first wife has not had a child. A society where a mechanic or a doctor would prefer to speak to the husband rather than the wife, where family members have a good deal of influence in this couple's relationship. The struggle is compounded by the lengths to which Akin and Yejide go to and the desperation is reflected in some things that they do that made me not like either of them very much.

There were some twists that I wasn't expecting - maybe too many. I kept wondering what else can happen. Too many things - curves in the plot line , too many secrets. Maybe meant to depict the desperation, but for me they diluted some of broader themes that I at first thought were the substance of the book. It definitely is a learning experience shedding light on the volatile political situation of the times , the culture, the place of women, the importance of a son, of children in this society.

While I loved the ending, overall the book is 3 stars for me. A good effort for a debut novel and I will watch for what Adebayo does in the future. I received an advanced copy of this book from Knopf Doubleday through NetGalley. View all 34 comments. Feb 09, Candi rated it really liked it Shelves: africa , contemporary-literary. Saanu mi. Duro timi. Stay with me. The political unrest and the resulting violence of the country are always in the background, never dominating the story but always exerting its influence and effects on the lives of t "Saanu mi, malo, Omo mi, joo nitori Olorun.

The political unrest and the resulting violence of the country are always in the background, never dominating the story but always exerting its influence and effects on the lives of the characters.

Yejide and Akin are a young Nigerian couple with hopes and dreams not unlike many other newlyweds. They both come from families that are grounded in many of the older traditions, including that of polygamy.

Chaînes à la une

However, Yejide and Akin are university-educated and have more of a contemporary view of the marriage bond, one to be shared between just two people. She yearns for a child, someone she can call her own and to whom she can give all the love which she herself found lacking in her own childhood; someone who will remember her once she has departed from life. But after four years, the pair have been unable to conceive a child. Desperation eventually springs forth, meddling families intervene, and a marriage is sorely tested. Lies are told, secrets are closely guarded, jealousy rears its ugly head, and lives are forever changed.

I think Adebayo does an excellent job of sketching the two main characters. It made for some surprising moments in the book which I quite liked. Akin secured less of my understanding, and a bit more of my impatience. Stay with Me is a page-turning, stirring novel that tugged at my heart and managed to elicit a variety of emotions. Weaving a wonderful story with realistic characters, this author is definitely one to watch.

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The ending was astonishing! View all 53 comments. Sep 27, PorshaJo rated it really liked it Shelves: challengereads , challengereads , audio. Rating 4. Utterly heartbreaking. There was a line in the book that summed it up perfectly Yejide and Akin are a married couple who must have a child. Yes, must. You see, Yejide will only become a woman once she has a child, giving her husband a child, hopefully a boy.

The story takes place in Nigeria and gives you a look at a different culture and its customs. Yejide is so desperate to have a chil Rating 4. Yejide is so desperate to have a child that she goes up a mountain with a white goat, consults a fertility 'man' witch doctor, guru, I dunno , and comes back believing she is pregnant.

The goal of having a child almost drives her mad. Because she can't give Akin a child, he must take another wife.


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The story is told back and forth in time, going between Yejide and Akin. It's amazing what these people go through to have a child and stop at nothing. And you follow the mess of life and love they create. When the story starts, you meet Yejide, who has not seen her husband in some time and is returning for her father inlaws funeral. Its amazing she can function after all that she has gone through. The story is very sad but it also had some comedic relief at times in the form of how all these people speak to one another.

I laughed out loud a few times.

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For example, Yejide owns and runs a hair salon and one day she cuts off her hair, basically hacking it off. When she returns home, her husband asks her what happened to her hair. She shouts 'A bear ate it off my head on the way home!!! Sometimes I think they are all a bit insane. I listened to this one and the narrator did a fabulous job.


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  5. She has a heavy accent so this one required me to focus. She did an amazing job flipping between the voices of Yejide and Akin and all the other characters in this story. I can't say this one is for everyone, it's just so tragic. But I really liked this story and can't understand why it has not received more acclaim. I look forward to see what Ayobami Adebayo, the author, gives us next as she is a gifted story-teller.