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Book review: Stay with Me- Ayòbámi Adébáyò

Image by @ouidabooks

Stay With me is a 306 page book published by Ouida books in April 2017.
Author: Ayòbámi Adébáyò

Price: 3,000

Ayòbámi holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University. She also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an International Bursary for Creative Writing.

Ayòbámi’s Stay With Me has been short listed for the 2017 Bailey’s Women Prize for Fiction. She along side the queen Chimamanda, are among the few African women to have made this list. 

I got the book a few hours after it’s release in Nigeria and you should have seen my face when I got it. Thanks to Ouida books

“Stay with me is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreaks”

Stay with me is a typical view of what happens in a childless home in our society.

It’s the second book released by Ouida books, their first was Taduno’s song by Odafe Atogun (review coming up) 

Guess what? 

You can now purchase this book from me. My social media links are at the bottom of the page, send me DMs or mail me [email protected] (Nation Wide delivery)
The setting was Nigeria in the 1980s, where there were all those military coups, annuling of elections, expelling of states, all that Babangida madness, among other social and political unrest.

Yejide never gave up hope on getting a child of her own, she’d go to any length to finally bare a child. What happened when her hopes finally came through for her however, are heart breaking.

Akinyele. Akin as he was popularly called, had gone through series of tests with Yejide. They were fine. He dreaded the regular visit by his family concerning Yejide’s childlessness and needed desperately to get her out of the constant humiliations. To what extent would he go for her? Their’s started a perfect love story one would think. Akin had no choice,  What could he have done? 

Funmi was forced on Akin as a second wife but it did not shake Yejide. Instead, she was stronger and was not threatened by who or whatsoever. At first I thought Funmi was nice, but it gradually became clear that it was a disguise like most rival wives.

Moomi, Akin’s mother and the only woman Yejide considered closest to a mother was very fond of Yejide and Yejide of her but will the situation temper with their relationship? Will moomi hope with her or will she join the gang of accusers?

Dotun, Akinyele’s only brother and man of the ladies. Married with a beautiful wife and kids unlike his brother Akin. Will this cause envy between them,will Dotun be a support to his brother in this situation or rub it in all the more?

Apart from all the noise about the book, I think my first attraction to wanting to read the book was the fact that it was written by a Yoruba author. Yes, I’m a lover of anything Yoruba. More interestingly was when I started reading the book and discovered that it had elements of Yoruba all through. From start till finish.

Seeing Yejide loose her mind was heart breaking. She convinced her body and others that she was pregnant but not Funmi and Akin. Akin would just not support her, he would not agree that she was pregnant regardless of the signs. At some point I began to think, “shouldn’t he rejoice with her?” The doctors later confirmed her condition to be Pseudocyesis. 

In the midst of all the tragedy, Ayòbámi was able to cater to the comic needs of the readers, it was not total tragedy all through.

There’s hope were all hope seems lost.

My favourite character in the book was Yejide and my absolute worse was Akin. As far as I saw, Akin was a terrible husband to Yejide. He led her in a marraige full of deceit. Yejide was strong, independent and wise. I loved every role she played, every step she took.

I tried to read all the Yoruba parts of the book like an actual Yoruba person, and I think I did well for starters, yey me!

If it was real life and I had to kick someone out, It’d definitely be Akin because who Akin eep? Honestly, e no epp anybody. But then again if we kicked him out, then the book wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is.

Altogether, I enjoyed Stay With Me and I wish Ayòbámi Adébáyò the best with the Bailey’s award.

Have you read Stay With Me? Please share your thoughts here, I’d love to know them.

Have you been considering getting the book? You should. (and please buy from me, thank you.) 

Stay With Me is a good way to spend your weekend. 

Have a lit weekend ahead.


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2 Responses
  • Adriel
    April 23, 2017

    I am excited already and I have started reading mine. Can’t wait to write about it too.

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