Review: ‘Stay With Me’ by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Yejide has tried all kinds of treatments to cure her barrenness. All she wants is to carry a child for her husband, and this desperation is heightened when her mother-in-law presses her son for a second wife. She finally gets pregnant, but the jubilation is short-lived when betrayal, deception, lies, and grief permeate their lives.

The relevance and significance of the subjects examined in Stay With Me are done with delicacy and skill, that the emotions experienced by the characters easily reach the reader. It is this flair for storytelling that Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ shows in the novel that makes it a book readable in a single breath. Each blow is thrown with the correct amount of strength, and just when you think that’s the capstone of the drama, another one is hurled at you.

I was thoroughly impressed by the exploration of the distasteful way that society deals with barrenness, as well as the loss of a child. The personal grief that a mother goes through which is misunderstood, carelessly handled, and brushed off with the suggestion that trying for another child will erase the loss. The in-law culture, which fascinates me, is also served in the correct measure and leaves the reader sympathising with the protagonist. I found no fault with this story and it’s definitely going on my list of favourites.

10s across the board!

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Autodidact & Bibliophile

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