As none of the books that arrived in by #BaileysPrize shadowing box were books that had currently featured on my “to be read” pile I have approached them all with some level of caution – I might be reading well out of my comfort zone after all!
This level of trepidation rose when the fifth book I read was Adebayo’s Stay With Me but this time because of the Nigerian setting – one of my favourite books of all time is Half a Yellow Sun by Chimomanda Ngozi Adichie and could any other Nigerian set book live up to the standard of that one?
In brief the answer is yes – this was a wonderful book that for the most part managed to capture both the wide scope of Nigeria and the intimate setting of one couple’s marriage. Yejide is desperate for a child – as it seems are her whole extended family and from this starting point an intricate tale that keeps you on your toes unfolds.
I’m not going to say more for the twists and turns, which are all believable and well written, are what make this book and I do think that coming at it with no ideas makes the best reading experience.
My only wish for this book is that perhaps sometimes there was more of the background story – I’d love to have known more about the politics driving the plot in so many ways, however with this would have come the loss of the intimate tale…
I loved this book and I hope it does well at the Bailey’s Prize on the 7th June – it is stunningly well written, thoroughly readable and has some great discussion points for book groups. Need more convincing? Ayobami Adebayo is a graduate of UEA’s Creative Writing Programme so there is a local link!