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The Heartbreaking Debut Novel We Cant Stop Talking About
Cover: Knopf/Background: Twenty20

Having a child should be joyous—a cause for celebration. In Ayobami Adebayo’s stunning debut novel, Stay with Me, the experience is a hair more complicated.  

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of Nigeria in the 1980s, Stay with Me tells the story of a marriage from inception to disintegration. 

After meeting and falling in love at university, Yejide and Akin marry. Fast-forward four years and they’re still childless. While that might not be a big deal everywhere, in Nigeria in the ’80s, it’s monumental. To the point where societal and familial pressures lead Akin to take on a second wife. 

So begins Yejide’s obsession with becoming a mother, a move she sees as permanently and inextricably linking her to her husband. She goes to intense lengths to conceive, including a trip to the so-called Mountain of Jaw-Dropping Miracles and a strange ritual that involves chanting, dancing and…a baby goat.

Told alternately from Yejide’s and Akin’s perspectives, Stay with Me is a heartbreaking meditation on love, betrayal, desperation and grief...and it's totally unputdownable. 

Adebayo has studied under Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Margaret Atwood, and it's easy to see their influence in her assured voice. We're itching to see what’s next from this wise-beyond-her-years writer. Lots, we hope. 

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