Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

BY TERESIA KING’ARA

This book will stay with you, long after you are done reading it. It is a roller coaster of emotions based on cultural undertones that still manifest in one way or another, to date. Set in Nigeria, West Africa, it brings to life and light, salient, yet unspoken and unquestioned cultural beliefs that continue to set the tone for marriages. It highlights the frustrations, both men and women undergo in marriage as they chase an illusionary perfect marriage.

Based on two characters, Yejide and Akin who have been married since they met and fell in love at university, the writer acknowledges that building a family is tough – it follows what one must contend with at individual level, together and against the community they are part of. The book is about the place of culture, importance, or lack thereof, of children and male patriarchy in marriage.

It shows the extent women will go to just to be called mums. The depths men will brave to avoid facing the truth and most importantly, it creates awareness on genetic conditions that couples rarely think about, yet are important to consider and be aware of when trying to get children.

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