When I read a book that its story stays with me afterward, I always want to write about it and encourage people to read it too. Stay With Me is my favorite book written by a Nigerian and I’m telling you why without sharing too much.

The story revolves around Yejide and Akin. Yejide was the only child of her Mother who died after giving birth to her. She grew up in a polygamous home and her stepmothers and stepsiblings outcasted her. She met Akin while at the university and fell in love and they got married not too long after. Sadly, she lost her Dad shortly before her wedding so Akin was the only family she had. Their marriage was amiable but Yejide did not get pregnant and by the fourth year, Akin got married to another wife at his Mother’s insistence though they had both agreed that polygamy wasn’t for either of them.

After visiting psychiatrists and several prophets, Yejide finally got pregnant but she lost her baby only a few months after having her. Another baby, another loss. By the time she got pregnant the third time, she was prepared for another loss and didn’t show the baby love as a result of this. Yejide later discovers a secret Akin kept from her for so many years that made her realize she was naive for love.


That’s the best I could do without giving too much away. From my brief summary, you can already tell it’s a sad tale. I must admit, I cried a couple of times as the story unraveled. It kept me on the edge during the day and played in my thoughts at night. I could hardly drop the book as I did not want to wait to read what was going to happen next.

It began with the ultrasounds. The machines claimed that there was no baby in my womb.
Dr Uche was the first doctor to run the scan. She had small eyes that swam in a pool of stagnant tears that refused to fall. The sheen in her eyes glittered as she broke the news.
‘Mrs Ajayi, there is no baby.’
‘I heard you the first time and the second time too,’ I said.

An excerpt from the book – Chapter 9

Ayobami Adebayo is an excellent storyteller. She wrote with so much wisdom and grace as Stay With Me carries us through the 1980s to 2008 reflecting the political events that occurred in Nigeria at the time. The writing style in its 306 pages is narrative and totally descriptive.  To be fair, there are no words that will adequately describe how much this book moved me. I am still in awe.

Have you ever read a book that left you speechless?

Mariam Shittu