Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin

Summary on Goodreads.

Rating: 5-Stars

"A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing.

And his wives . . .

Iya Segi—the bride of Baba Segi's youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband's home.

Iya Tope—Baba Segi's second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear.

Iya Femi—the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost.

Bolanle—Babi Segi's fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life's misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives . . . and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all." [+]

This book is so wonderful that I don't know what to say. It is a nice change to all the crime, thrillers and YA that I usually read. 

The story is told in different POVs and at the beginning I had trouble remembering who was who but the family tree at the beginning of the book put me straight and I came to know which wife was narrating before I read her name.

Baba Segi is a traditional Nigerian (or African?) - ha! man who has four wives because he can support them and treat them all equally. And so he does. The problem are the wives, who are treacherous and don't welcome his fourth wife, Bolanle. 

Why? What difference does it make to three wives of four? You will find out in this funny book.

I loved the insight into the culture, the language, the mannerisms....Well, everything!