Fantastic people! How are you doing? Sending lots of love to you all during this crazy and challenging time <3 Following on from last week, like Juliette in ‘The girl who reads on the Metro’, who gives out assorted books to different people, I love sharing books. Giving books away to other people and receiving suggestions of things I should read from friends, is such a good way to discover something that has slipped under my radar. A couple of friends told me to read this week’s recommendation, so I am extremely thankful for the heads up! Somehow, despite always giving books away, I seem to end up accumulating more and more…
This week’s novel is absolutely incredible, and I am really excited that we get to look at it. It is a wonderfully beautiful yet harrowing read. We are going to be talking about ‘Stay With Me’ by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀. Set in Ilesa, Nigeria it follows the struggles of love, marriage, family, and fertility between Yejide and her husband Akin. Focusing on the pressures that Yejide receives from her family and community to have children, we get a glimpse of how these expectations can manifest themselves, leaving struggles and sufferings in their wake. The book is written from different perspectives throughout, which allows us to look into the mind and thoughts of the various characters.
Ayọ̀bámi was born in Lagos and this book gives a great insight in life and culture in Nigeria. Once I had finished this book, I felt like I had also learnt about something of the history of Nigeria too. History through the lens of a fictional story always seems to have so much more depth and personality to it. I feel like it is worth looking at all the awards this novel has achieved:
Ayọ̀bámi’s ‘Stay With Me’ “was shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project as a work in progress in 2013. After it was published in 2017, it was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the 9mobile Prize for Literature. It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. ‘Stay With Me’ was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications.”