“His hand gripped mine with pain-induced strength that crushed my knuckles together. I welcomed the pain in my hand, aware that it was only a tip of what he was feeling. I hoped that by holding me, he could transfuse his agony into my body and be free from it.” Stay With Me, Ayòbámi Adébáyò.
Motherhood, marriage, boundless male egos, the lies we tell, and the ones we believe, are some of the themes addressed in this book.
The Protagonist in Ayòbámi Adébáyò’s debut novel discovers, after a long struggle, and bearing the stigma of not having children, that two of them suffer from sickle cell disease. We see her bear their pain, anxious of the next trip to the hospital. While she carries the blame, the patriarchy is immune yet again in an African household. We experience the power of superstition and the hilariously displayed hold it still has on some of us.
This book speaks to love, and the things it can and cannot do. Is it still love, if it crashes, breaks and falls in little pieces?
The dialogue in this book is clever and entertaining. It will grip you. Ayòbámi gives a voice to both the husband and wife.
You can devour this book, all of it, on a Sunday afternoon, but it will leave you with plenty to ponder on for a long time.
I hope you love it as much as I do.