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Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo book review

Synopsis

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage–after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures–Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time- …more

My thoughts

I have such mixed feelings about this book. When I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down but towards the end of the book, I couldn’t really bring myself to finish it. But I did finish it eventually. I think I began struggling at the end of the book because it felt like a story that had been told before. It really reminded me of a book I had read before, so I kept thinking about that book.

I hate to say, but the book was a bit predicable but I still loved the topics it tackled like sickle cell, impotency, politics, relationships, etc… Although I’m into books that cover more than one topic, I do not like when books attempt to be political but then leave its audience hanging. Ayobami Adebayo makes several references to some kind of civil unrest that was happening but it was never fully realized. I get that wasn’t a main topic but merely a subject that brought Yejide and Akin together, but for my personal satisfaction, I would have enjoyed reading more of that.

Akin’s impotency broke my heart but also really upset me. I was upset because of the things Yejide had to go through and how he watched her go through them without confessing. That is a twisted and prideful way to love someone. I detested Akin for conniving with his brother to sleep with his wife, it just shows how much of a coward he was. But it also shows how desperate he was to show that he was a man and could have children especially since he was getting so much pressure from his mother.

Overall, I think it was a very good first book and I am looking forward to reading the next thing she writes.

Have you read Stay with me?

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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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Summary

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ulti …more

My Thoughts

you are the noor in my eyes and the sultan of my heart.

One of my favorite things about the books were all the potential quotes I can write out and use. It was so full of wisdom. Lets get into the book then…

This book completely rocked my world. The novel is a fictional work but the historical events are not which makes me think that it is possible that people actually went through what the characters in the book endured.

I felt for Mariam’s character the most because even her happy ending wasn’t really happy. She had a mentally unstable mother who commits suicide, a father who openly rejected her and married her off to a man about 3 times her age. She loses 6 babies and is brutally abused by her husband, she has to tolerate a second wife, eventually kills this man and is put to death. But in the end, she is glad that she is dying the way she is. Her acceptance of her death broke my heart just because I was hoping for some type of miracle at the end. Some kind of escape. I guess the reality that you can endure pain till the end of your life with very few laughter is what truly bothered me. That this can be anyone’s reality. I loved that Laila and Tariq found their way back to each other. With the way the story was going, I wasn’t sure there was going to be a happy ending for her either.

Most of us are very fortunate that we come from or live in nations where war isn’t literally at our back door. Some of us have never or will ever experience the sound of bomb or see the body parts of our loved ones blown to pieces before our eyes. But there are people in certain parts of the world who are not as fortunate, people who don’t rejoice over fireworks because it triggers something in them. I just weep and pray for everyone who has had to endure this type of trauma.

My favorite relationship in the book was between Mariam and Laila. The mother-daughter bond that was voluntary and not fueled by blood. Mariam’s commitment to Laila till the very end is the type of #goals I aspire.
Overall, I liked the book. It was so heavy however. Just one tragedy after the next. But a very well written book. Have you read it?

Exit West by Moshin Hamid

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image from google images

synopsis 

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whisper …more

My thoughts

This book was a bit underwhelming for me, mainly because I expected the intensity I got from Guapa in this book. I guess this is a reminder that not all books about Arabia (in both books, no specific country was named, but Arabia is kind of inferred) have the same story.

Exit West started out interestingly enough but dulled towards the end. The author in the beginning allowed readers to get to know Saeed and Nadia but still left a few things out that I was hoping to discover about them later, but it never happened. The author in the beginning of the book also seem to invest in their relationship, but again, just left it alone. I was interested in their love story.

I also wish the “door” would have been explained more, I was aware of what “the door” was, but I would have loved to know what actually went into the process, how the migration was till they reached their final destination.

Everything was just presented on a surface level, for example, the lives of refugees in a different country, or Nadia’s decision to wear a hijab but still engage in sex and drugs. For me personally, I think if an author is going to “go there,” they should go all the way. Meaning if you are going to touch on a serious important subject then you should completely explore it. I didn’t feel that Moshin Hamid did that.

Reading the book reviews, I felt that people had strong feelings and connection with this book that I didn’t feel. I’m not sure why I didn’t connect. It just seem so unsettling, well kind of like the life of Nadia, Saeed and other refugees running away from their homeland because of turmoil. I wasn’t too fond of how Moshin foreshadows the end of the story very early on in the book, like, why should I continue to read it if you JUST told me what the end is going to be.

What I do hope for for this book is that many people in the West read it just so they know how it feels like to be a refugee in a foreign country. I think it is important for readers to know that there are people who want to have a very normal life, like Nadia and Saeed that just wanted to go to cafes and sneak around to be together, just normal stuff. But are unable to because of a war torn country and are forced to grow up quickly. It shows how war and surviving can make people miss out on things that most of us take for granted.