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Champlain Library book review: Stay With Me

The Adult Summer Reading Club at the Champlain Library is an opportunity for members to get together on Monday night, share book reviews or discover new authors.  The following review was written by by Janet Hubbard, a patron of the library, who was interested in sharing her thoughts about a book that she had read.  Everyone who participates is eligible to win a prize.  For more information or to register contact the Champlain Library at 613-678-2216.

“Stay with Me” is a first novel by Nigerian author Ayobami Adebayo.  Although it is set in Nigeria, it deals with universal themes of pride, betrayal, and secrecy in a marriage.  The novel has two narrators:  Yeside and her husband Akin.  It takes place between 1980 and 2008, a time of political upheaval and coups in Nigeria.

The story begins in 2008 when Yesdie, separated from her husband, is waiting to go to the funeral of Akin’s father.  It moves back to 1985 where the couple have been married for four years, but still have no children.  Reluctantly they resort to polygamy.  Secrets abound, told to the reader, but not to each other.

The novel is well-structured and well-written.  It leaves questions, particularly for a modern reader.  It gives a cultural and political insight into Nigeria in the 1980’s.  Hubbard says she found it gripping, funny in parts, well worth reading and thought-provoking.

 

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