His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
Sistah Girls, are you looking for a novel that is funny, well-fleshed out and with more than a sprinkle of African culture, then, I’ve got you.
Now, I’ll keep it real with you, I have a taste for stories with lots of drama, and by drama, I mean the whole works: scheming characters, problems ear and dear (here and there), and lots of crazy laugh-out-loud moments; so if all of that sounds good, leggo, because Peace Adzo Medie’s His Only Wife delivers on all of that and then some more.
In fact, right from the title to the cover, you already know what it is- spicy!!!
The very first thing that gripped me was the Nigerian culture in the Ghanaian culture. As in, I kid you not, from the get-go, what I read was- “Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding,” and I was like, “woah, you guys do that too?”
Honestly, I have never been able to wrap my head around the practice, but it is what it is.
Let’s talk about the characters, I initially thought of Afi, (the protagonist) as smart and hard-working but also timid. However, as the story progressed, I began to see her as a strong-willed woman, one that knows what she wants and will not be pushed around.
I enjoyed seeing her stand up to Aunty, her family members, and her mother; I was like, “babe, I want to be you when I grow up!” Bottom line, I think Medie gives us a very traditional woman with Afi, in a way that seems to say that being a traditional woman does not equal ode (aka idiot/a pushover).
So I know from the title you are already expecting to dislike, or even hate Eli, ha!, Medie does not give you that chance. He is not the same ole same ole brooding arrogant love interest, he is no less handsome; but see ehn, I tank (thank) the Lord that we were spared that whole jagajaga (nonsense) package.
Ah, yet another thing that I could kiss Medie for is this, she did not use the virgin-alpha male trope. My Sistah Girls, she deserves to collect beer on top my head (a treat) for that alone, because that trope is no longer working for me, I am too old for it, simple!
Remember I said that this book is steeped in the Ghanaian culture, and what’s an African culture without family. Yep, it does not get more real than that.
Medie presents her readers with the typical African family setting, and it is interesting to read because you know that there ain’t no family without some crazy.
Truth be told, I could see different members of my family in the different characters, and that gave me a kick, probably because I get to say, “this is so this person and that person.”
Now, I have heard some funny descriptions of this book, which one is domestic fiction, like warris (what is) that? Another description compared it to Crazy Rich Asians, and I disagree, they are not similar kankan (at all).
I’ll say that Medie’s His Only Wife, is the type of book that we need more of; it touches on all the good stuff: it is emotional, funny, and culturally vibrant in a manner that is non-apologetic.
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