Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

index

“Four women…one husband…and a devastating secret”

I read this book three weeks ago, I think, but i’ve been so busy with my day job and planning my life that I have barely had time to breathe. Suffice to say, I was like, “there is no way im not writing a book review about Baba Segi’s wives”. There is something to be said about the way Nigerian’s write their books. I was mighty impressed with this one. It was short but it did not fail to touch all the right spots

It had me laughing half the time and musing at how the paths our lives often have a life of their own and hardly do they warn us just before they screw us. Which is exactly what happens to Baba Segi who does not know that his four wives are nothing short of impressive women. Polygamy is real and unless you are a child born into one, the father who decides he needs many women or the women who agree to be second, third, fourth wives; half the time you don’t know the intrigues that such a situation brings. I for one did not know until this book showed me some interesting facets of it. Like how the wives might hate each other but somehow they have their moments of “kimoja”(togetherness)
Men find out all the time the children they think are theirs with the wife are not really theirs. This one compounds the situation because this guy has 4wives….4times he got cheated out of his own kids. It’s sad but its heart-breakingly funny
African authors to me are the best because they give us a glimpse of the vastness that is our motherland. I particularly love the main heroine in this book, the last of Baba Segi’s wives because she settles as a fourth wife thinking she doesn’t deserve better after a being raped but I like how the book evolves her and shows her come from timidity to fearless bravery. And she knows it because in the end she acknowledges all this;

“Courage is being able to face the truth..regardless of what it may be”
“Expectations are easier to bear when they are set as low as possible”
“My life is a beautiful tragedy”
“Don’t think I can’t see the challenges ahead of me. People will say I am a secondhand woman. Men will hurt and ridicule me but I won’t let them hold me back. I will remain in the land of the living. I am back now and the world is spread before me like an egg cracked open”

Sentiments that is all too familiar
A beautiful tragedy of a book

Send an email if you want a soft copy of the book

Happy reading 🙂

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