Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | November 2018 | 240 pgs
This is a buddy read with my blogger friend, Lark. Please visit her blog after reading this and I hope you'll enjoy our buddy read feature.
Despite the title, this book doesn't really classified as a suspense thriller (at least that's what I thought). At its core, this is more of a story about sisterhood and family dynamics set in Nigeria and I liked how it was all executed nicely with some dark humour and satire as its prose.
The book opens with Korede receives a phone call from her younger sister, Ayoola, for her assistance. Ayoola has murdered her boyfriend, Femi, and she needs Korede to help clear up the mess. This isn't the first time Ayoola has killed a person (three ex-boyfriends, to be exact) and it isn't the first time Korede has to do the dirty jobs for her. Although she always make sure no spot is left behind, she couldn't help worrying if there's a day that the police would come after her.
Korede works as a nurse at a hospital. She has a crush with Dr. Tade Otumu and although they've a good working relationship, Korede is still hoping that one day Tade would look at her as a woman than a subordinate. Her hope is dashed when Ayoola came to the hospital to look for her and her presence has caught Tade's attention. Ayoola is an attractive woman who oozes charm and confidence so it is no surprise that Tade begins to take an interest in her. Korede isn't pleased but there is nothing much she could do. With no one to share her frustrations, she knows she can always confide to a comatose patient named Muhtar, including sharing all her secrets about Ayoola's killings and how she took care of everything.
As Tade begins to get serious with Ayoola, Korede wonders if he would get hurt eventually given Ayoola's history with men. Korede doesn't want to doubt her sister; but her claims of self-defence and her nonchalance make her wonder otherwise. Still, she is her sister and blood is thicker than water, right? But she likes Tade, too. So, what's a girl to do?
This book was such an addicting read. As mentioned, this story is written in satirical prose and I think readers would either love it or hate it. I liked the style; plus the chapters are short and made it a fast read. Story-wise, I was totally engrossed with the two sisters' banter. They may be different in many ways but yet they share a deep bond since young, which started from their father's abuse towards them. Korede is someone whom I think has a strong sense of responsibility in her blood, both at work and with people. Thus, it is interesting to see her dilemma here. Her lone conservations with the comatose Muhtar show a part of her vulnerable side; yet it also portrays her compassionate side as she's the only one who talks to him. Overall this is an interesting novel about sisterhood, family and a case of character study.
Our Q&As on the book (with my answers to Lark's questions):
1) Ayoola may have stabbed Femi, but what, if any, responsibility for his death does Korede share?
Hmm. This is quite a difficult question to answer. All I can say is, I think Korede's strength and weakness is that she cares too much for Ayoola. Korede may not agree to some of her thoughts and actions, but in a way she acts like Ayoola's "accomplice" because she doesn't want her to be in trouble. After all, they're sisters. Plus, what they'd experienced in the past had bonded them.
2) Do you think Ayoola knew how Korede really felt about Dr. Tade Otumu? And if so, why did she continue the relationship?
Korede may be subtle in regards to her feelings and how she reacts towards Tade, but the way she talks about him in front of Ayoola is quite clear so I think Ayoola is aware of it. Ayoola is an attractive woman and she knew it. I think she continues with the relationship with Tade because Korede remains passive all the time. Plus, Ayoola loves the attention.
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