Stay with Me was recommended to me and so I purchased it and settled down to read it.
I read it in one night.
From the first page, I appreciated that Stay with Me was just my type of book. The phrase ‘page turner’ has always meant for me – a book that packs a punch with every page - and that is Adebayo’s book.
So let’s delve in. First of all, the title. I love it. I don’t want to give any spoilers but at the start of the book it meant one thing to me and by the end of it, it had a double meaning. I don’t know if the double meaning was intentional but either way, the book was coined perfectly in this simple phrase. 10/10.
The story is about a couple who have to brace the realities of being unable to birth children in an environment that is hostile to childlessness aka Nigeria. Adebayo did justice to the pressure that a childless couple is forced to endure and we are witness to the catastrophic choices and decisions that the husband and wife make in an effort to give their union babies. The tale is told from the point of view of the couple - Yejide, the wife and Akin, the husband.
I was constantly getting up and running to my sister’s room to inform her of some twist or some event that had taken place in the book and I genuinely had no idea how it would all end. Though I had to admit, at some points I thought it a little over the top but it was all the more fun because of it. My least favourite part of the novel was the political commentary, and this is really a personal issue of mine, as I am ignorant when it comes to matters of that nature and I didn’t feel that it moved the story forward; but its necessity became apparent at the end. I would give the plot a solid 8/10.
Adebayo’s characters were flawless. I do not mean they had no flaws, they had plenty of flaws and they were flawless because of it. They took terrible steps to achieve honourable results. Yejide, laid the blame at the doors of others and was often unable to see her own compliance in what was happening to her. Akin, was my favourite character because all his actions were performed out of love and yet, in many ways, they were wicked actions. But even the secondary characters left their mark and owned their imperfections. 9/10
I loved Yejide from the very first moment. No doubt about that. But there are things even love can’t do. Before I got married, I believed love could do anything. I learned soon enough that it couldn’t bear the weight of four years without children.
Adebayo’s writing style is smooth, and engaging. She writes about the Nigerian culture, tying it into her story expertly. I would give her style 7/10.
Stay with Me is a rewarding read and I would definitely recommend it.