“Stay with me” is the debut novel of Ayobami Adebayo, a very charismatic Nigerian writer. The story is set in the Nigeria of the eighties. The two heroes of the book are Yejide and Akin. The met while in college and fell in love for each other instantly. Their story is the one described in this book, making us all to think who life can be.
Yejide, is a young girl that has lost her mother at birth. Her father has married other women to help raise her and bring up more children, but none of them ever made into her mother, not that any of them really tried. She was a burden on them, and they never hugged her along with their children. Therefore, Yejide decided she was not the polygamist kind and she made that clear to Akin early in their relationship. They were very in love and devoted to each other. They have tried, but they could not bear any children, and this is when it all started to go bad. Yejide has tried everything in order to get pregnant. She even accepted Akin being married to another woman, only to be deceived by the man she loved.
The writer provides a part of Nigeria’s turbulent history in the 80s, through their heroes’ story. She reveals the customs and the way of thinking at the time and maybe even today, in a simply and comfort manner. This story is all about relationships. It is about what it takes to be in love with someone. What it means to trust another person only to fond out that it is not the one you knew to be. It is a story of power over weakness, of love over cunning, of sacrifice over control. It is about motherhood and unconditional love. It is about grief and dealing with it, trying not to hurt the people you love.
Adebayo is a writer that has many to say in a beautiful prose. She has come to stay. she is claiming her position in the writing world and she is going to get one and stick to it. Better keep in eye on her and her books to come!
ARC received courtesy of Canongate Books via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.