I always start these things with an apology – Book reviews aren’t something I do well, I think. I’m more likely to tell you how a book made me feel, or think rather than a discourse on style and structure. So bear with me.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives was gruesome to read. Not gruesome like Stephen King, James Patterson, or (gag) V.C. Andrews, more emotionally heart wrenching.
It started out well. We (the members of the book club) were clear on who to hate – Baba Segi and his first three wives. Feelings for Wife no. 4, Bolanle, swung between annoyance and sympathy. Then new information came to light. Gasp! And swung us all into emotional turmoil. I can’t tell you more (spoilers!) but I can tell you that nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, is as it seems.
The best part of the book – the writing. Sometimes, it was the only thing that kept some of us reading. Lola Shoneyin’s storytelling is very Old World. It brings to mind a wizened grandmother sitting to tell her gathered descendants a cautionary tale. I loved it, even though it hurt to read it.
Next month (in two days), is Chick Lit month, and we pick up Sophie Kinsella’s Can you keep a secret? Watch this space.