Hold on to your emotions: this book is deeply affecting. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo is a profound look into a very troubled relationship over twenty years in a turbulent Nigeria. It may not be an easy read, but it is a very fulfilling one that will leave you thinking about the characters long after you finish.
Yejide and Akin are young and trying everything they can to have children. The need for offspring has altered all aspects of their once blissful marriage. Akin is pressured into taking a second wife in hopes for a child. Yejide will do anything to make sure she is the one to give Akin the child that he so desperately desires.
Stay With Me was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction. Their shortlist added quite a few books to my reading stack, including the winner, The Power by Naomi Alderman, which comes out in October.
Shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Chicago Tribune, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Post, Southern Living, The Skimm
Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize and the 9mobile Prize for Literature
Longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize
A 2017 BEA Buzz Panel Selection
A Belletrist Book-of-the-Month
A Sarah Jessica Parker Book Club Selection
Ilesa, Nigeria. Ever since they first met and fell in love at university, Yejide and Akin have agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage—after consulting fertility doctors and healers, and trying strange teas and unlikely cures—Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time—until her in-laws arrive on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does—but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. The unforgettable story of a marriage as seen through the eyes of both husband and wife, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.
About the Author
Ayobami Adebayo’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, and has worked as an editor for Saraba Magazine since 2009. Adebayo also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. She has received fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-Bow School of Art, Ebedi Hills and the Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Powerfully magnetic. . . . In the lineage of great works by Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. . . . A thoroughly contemporary—and deeply moving—portrait of a marriage.” —The New York Times Book Review
“An absolute must-read and a story that will be shared for many decades to come.” —Emma Roberts, Refinery29
“[A] stunning literary work [that] serves as both astute political commentary and unfolding mystery.” —NPR