Ayobami Adebayo – Stay with Me

Stark and beautiful telling of heartbreak and a crumbling marriage set against Nigeria's stormy political times

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo takes its title from the translation of the name of lead character Yejide's third child: Rotimi. It's a phrase that rings truer and truer to Yejide throughout the book as everything and everyone she holds dear slips through her fingers.

Set in 80s Nigeria, the novel tells the story of Yejide and husband Akin's marriage and its ultimate demise. It's set against stormy political times; their crumbling marriage juxtaposed against the country's faltering foundations. Both husband and wife are given a narrative voice, cajoling the story out from alternate perspectives across chapter after harrowing chapter. From their tragic attempts to bear children, the Nigerian relationship between modern and traditional medicine, betrayal, and motherhood, endless stones are uncovered and stories woven through Adebayo's beautiful, stark writing.

Stay with Me is suffused with a constant ache of heartbreak, bolstered only by that intangible need to keep going no matter what.

Out Thu 2 Mar, published by Canongate.

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