Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Stay With Me is an addictive read about a woman, Yejide, her husband, and her attempts to have children, set in Nigeria from 1985 to 2008. It is a novel about hope and it is the hope that keeps you reading, a hope for Yejide and for her husband Akin and for the hope that hope is worth it after all.
Adebayo’s book is often a subtle one, showing character relationships and moments rather than immediately telling the reader what to think or how everybody felt. The main characters are rounded and flawed, often thinking they know everything but missing crucial details. Yejide’s emotions in particular, from her huge desire to get pregnant to her feelings in the important final moments of the book, come across through the writing very effectively, making this a novel thoroughly grounded in its characters. The writing style is easy to get into and gripping, with the narrative jumping from Yejide’s point of view to Akin’s in order to show events from both sides. Neither character is wrong, but both characters think, hope, and love in different ways.
I read a proof of Stay With Me from Canongate (via NetGalley) after having been interested by the promotion of the book so far and it didn’t disappoint. It is a novel that draws you into the world of its characters and their lives. Stay With Me is literary fiction with emotion.