Ayobami Adebayo’s debut novel Stay With Me tells the story of a couple who attempt to rise beyond the traditional attitudes of the Nigerian culture.
The story is set during the political turmoil of 1980s Nigeria. Adebayo explores the fears, uncertainties, and struggles of Yejide and Akin, the couple at the heart of Stay With Me. Adebayo’s writing is vibrant and rich, bringing the characters and their stories to life.
In an interview with NPR, Adebayo said, “They live in a society where having children validates not just the individual but the marriage itself.” In Stay With Me, Yejide is not considered a “complete woman” if she doesn’t have a child. As the first born son, Akin brings shame to his family if his wife never becomes pregnant. The solution to this family dilemma, Yejide’s conception, comes at a great cost.
Stay With Me is beautiful and heartbreaking. It gives new meaning to the word motherhood and love. A stunning debut novel – Ayobami Adebayo is one of the new authors one should want to watch out for.
“If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.” – Ayobami Adebayo, Stay With Me