Book Reviews

Why You Should Read Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

I promised myself I wouldn’t write any more book reviews but this book changed my mind. I don’t want my blog to become a book review blog but what book-obsessed person can get away with not writing book reviews?

Before I read Stay With Me, I had listened to podcasts with Ayobami as the guest. I call her Ayobami now because I feel like I have developed some kind of familiarity with her because of how many reviews I’ve read. I feel like I know her. I imagine that she lived in Ibadan. I’m not sure but I know she moved to Lagos and became afraid of losing her writing. You see, she had stopped writing every day like she used to. To solve her problem, she decided to write a book. That book became Stay With Me.

She chose to write Stay With Me because she had previously had an encounter with someone who was facing the problem she spoke about in the book or something like that. I know her voice, I love her. After reading her book, I love her more.

Yejide and Akin love each other. Akin had decided that he would marry Yejide from the moment he saw her and Yejide knew the same. They did not foresee the events that would happen in their marriage, the constant pressure to please, please have a  child. Their marriage would have to prove that it can stand the test of childlessness and terrible decisions.

I loved this story. I have to start with that. I loved it so much. Yejide masterfully wove the plot in such a way that the story was hard to put down. I feel like if she had told it any other way, it would have been boring. There’s so much going on and that’s not in a bad way.

The themes she wrote about are things that are common in Nigeria: Childlessness and the constant pressure from family. They usually have your best interest in mind but sometimes, they need to back off.

I found Yejide’s character sad. She was just constantly crying for attention. This was mostly because she was both a motherless child and a childless mother (at least at the beginning of the book). I felt her pain and while I wanted her to just forget everyone and live her life, I couldn’t think that because I understood, I understood what she was going through. You can’t be a bad wife, to your husband’s family at least. Even if you have complaints, they are to be offered through your husband who changes things as he can.

Ayobami’s writing is something beautiful. I have to say, I enjoyed this book chiefly because she was such a good writer and that reflects in the book. Did it reflect?!

I learnt so much from this book, in terms of writing and it isn’t even a writing book. I had to constantly take a pause to breathe, go back and edit my own story before I went back to fully immerse myself again. The ride was crazy.

Also, a bonus for those lazy people: The book isn’t that long. The epub version I read wasn’t even up to 230 pages.

I’ll give this book a full 5 stars. I loved it, very very much and I’m sure you’ll love it too.

“So love is like a test, but in what sense? To what end? Who was carrying out the test? But I think I did believe that Love had immense power to unearth all that was good in us, refine us and reveal to us the better versions of ourselves.” 
― Ayobami Adebayo

Share your thoughts with me! Have you read the book? Let’s talk, share some comments below. Will you read the book? If you will read it, tell me why you will!


  • Raffy

    Well done, Simzah! Your review is awesome! I’ve read the book, too, and I couldn’t help but purge emotions for Yejide. It hurts how she suffers for somebody else’s “sins”. Worst still, she is at the mercy of a society that sees childlessness in a marriage as solely the fault of the wife.

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