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Stay With Me Hardcover – 2 Mar 2017

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (2 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782119469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782119463
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.9 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Scorching, gripping, ultimately lovely" (Margaret Atwood)

"This deeply impressive novel of infertility, loneliness and longing is the first by the hotly-tipped Adebayo and it packs a tremendous punch" (Daily Mail)

"This terrific first novel (shortlisted for the Baileys women's prize for fiction) deals with the daily stresses of living with the political upheavals of the time but the real drama is happening in Yejide's womb. Adebayo unfolds the many layers of truth with insight and skill" (The Times)

"A thoroughly contemporary style that is all her own . . . clever and funny . . . despite the intense sadness of her subject matter, she has produced a bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride" (Guardian)

"Affecting and powerful . . . Adebayo's prose is a pleasure: immediate, unpretentious and flecked with whip-smart Nigerian-English dialogue" (Sunday Times)

"One of the must-reads books of the year so far: Stay With Me has it all, including big themes of love, grief and jealousy, a fantastic female protagonist plus it reads like a page-turning thriller" (Stylist)

"This impressive debut creates, in deceptively simple prose, a portrait of a marriage in crisis in a deeply patriarchal and oppressive society" (Mail on Sunday)

"The writing is so painfully intimate that at times you want to put the book down. Fortunately, the brilliance of Adebayo's storytelling stops you" (Daily Herald)

"Ayobami Adebayo's sensitive, exposing first novel is about the lies and false hopes we tell ourselves to stay sane, and the cataclysmic impact the decisions we make can have on the people we love" (Irish Examiner)

"Ayobami Adebayo is an extremely talented and sensitive writer . . . Fantastic" (Uzodinma Iweala, author of BEASTS OF NO NATION)

Book Description

This Nigerian debut, shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Prize, is the heart-breaking tale of what wanting a child can do to a person, a marriage and a family; a powerful and vivid story of what it means to love not wisely but too well

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Yetide and her husband Akin are a middle-class couple living in Nigeria in the 1980s. He works in a bank, she runs her own hairdressing salon. They apparently have a happy marriage. But they (or more particularly, Yetide) are under great pressure from Akin’s mother because they do not have a child. They have both grown up in polygamous households and she persuades Akin to take a second wife.

Yetide is a wonderful character, alternately beautiful and strong, and isolated and bullied. Her own mother died in childbirth and she was ostracised by her husband’s other wives. By contrast, she adores Akin’s mother and this makes it harder for her to stand up to her. These experiences compound her own feelings about not being able to have a child and the lengths she is willing to go.

The narration switches between Yetide and Akin’s points of view as we see the strain their changed relationship places on them. You get a powerful sense of the conflicting pressures on them and the importance of family. I also enjoyed the details of their daily life. The minor characters are brilliantly drawn and there is warmth and humour entwined with darker moments. The increasing sense of threat from political events entwines with their personal story.

I did have some issues with the latter part of the book. First we have Yetide’s perspective on a key event, then it doubles back to give us Akin’s. This doesn’t tell you anything you couldn’t have worked out, and slows the story down just when the tension should be rising. I also struggled with the plausibility of some elements of the plot and the end was a little predictable. But despite these reservations, it was a fascinating insight into Nigerian life and the conflict between the ideal of motherhood and the reality.
I received a copy of Stay with Me from the publisher via Netgalley
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Format: Kindle Edition
Stay With Me, Ayobami Adebayo

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Literary Fiction, General Fiction (Adult) 
This isn’t a book I’d re-read, that being said it was heart breaking at times. A really sad story where it was difficult to see who was really acting in the wrong.

Yejide was so in love with Akim, having been brought up in a typical Nigerian family where her father had four wives, and respect for parents is huge. Sadly her mother died in childbirth, and there are so many religious superstitions over any event connected with death that she’s always on the outside of the family, always being reminded of the awful thing her mother did in dying. When she meets Akin she’s ripe for love. When he sees her he’s entranced and very soon they are married.

That’s seems fine doesn’t it? Sadly though family is everything in this culture and Yejide is soon inundated with advice from Akim’s and her own family about how to get pregnant.
At first they seem like an independent couple, they know much of this “advice” is spurious superstition but slowly the blame weighs heavily on Yejide.
She’s still shocked though when Akim takes a second wife....my heart broke for her here. I was so angry at Akim and yet in that culture, with the constant pressure of parents, not just two but all his fathers wives who want to see their son or daughter as the favoured, its harder to blame him.
I really didn’t like Funmi, wife number two, and yet if I’m honest she was just doing what their culture taught, marry and have children, seek to ensure your children are in the favoured position of their father.

There’s such sadness here, and I so felt for both of them.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This novel is set in Nigeria, we meet Yejide. She's happily married to the love of her life, Akin, the only trouble they face is having a child. Yejide just can't seem to become pregnant, this brings with it resentment from her in-laws and social community. Infertility is regarded very much as a tragedy, across most cultures. She struggles in her desire to have a child, and when Akin's mother arranges a new marriage for Akin to remedy the situation, her desire is overwhelming. A new wife threatens Yejide, she can't bear him sharing his life so intimately with two women- as you can imagine.

In this journey, we witness first hand the incredible strength of a woman who feels broken inside, who loses those she loves and then builds herself back up. Her relationship with Akin used to be exhilarating, exciting, joyful but soon enough a wall is built between them. I admired Yejide's maturity and while I was not naïve to the cultural barriers and prejudices that are pushed against women, such as the idea that a woman has failed her human duty if she can't produce a child or the way that men are typically ignored in such circumstances, it was impressively powerful to read how Yejide dealt with it. Especially so, because she didn't speak out, she believed she had failed, she felt hopeless...So often, this is reality and I appreciated how the author didn't skim over it or shine a prettier light on it and present it as a situation that just needs a little faith for it to all work out.

There was some predictability in this book but in a good way as the foreshadowing sort of prepares you for the secrets that Yejide doesn't know. It shines the torch on Akins's betrayal and secrets. It helps you understand. I saw things coming but, I was blown away by Akin's manipulative scheming.
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