Welcome back to another edition of Audiobook Spotlight where I review an audiobook that I’ve really enjoyed. As many of you may know by now, I am a big fan of audiobooks and almost always have one on the go!
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Publication Date: 22nd August 2017
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Narrator: Adjoa Andoh
Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary
This celebrated, unforgettable first novel, shortlisted for the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction and set in Nigeria, gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage–and the forces that threaten to tear it apart.
Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage–after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures–Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant, which, finally, she does–but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.
What I loved about listening to this book was the narration. Andoh’s narration was full of life and emotion as she tells the emotional story of Yejide and Akin and their struggle to conceive. I also liked the fact she was able to do different accents for the different characters and it also showed me how to correctly pronounce their names.
The characters in this novel were so well formed, which was aided by the multiple POVs and flashbacks throughout. You really felt for the couple as Yejide was stignmatised by the family for not having conceived. The solution that was found was incredibly complex and raised several moral issues which were not at all clear cut – something which I adore in a novel.
What I like about reading novels like this is the way they transport me to another place entirely – this time, Nigeria. I’ve read a small handful of novels about Nigeria, particularly by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and I find the culture really interesting. There was a lot about the Yoruba people and their traditions, customs and superstitions. Despite not being familiar with these, I was completely absorbed in the tale and feel like I learnt something about this culture and country.
This is a beautiful book, completely gut wrenching and full of emotion. While it is not one to read when you are looking for something light hearted, I feel that it is an incredibly important book and one I would highly recommend.