Monday, October 26, 2020

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie


His Only Wife
by Peace Adzo Medie
narrated by Soneela Nankani

Published: 2020
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Hardback: 288
Rating: 4
Contemporary, Feminism, Africa | Goodreads | Website
Travel destination: West Africa, Ghana

First sentence(s):
Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.

Afi Tekple is a young seamstress whose life is narrowing rapidly. She lives in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother, spending much of her time in her uncle Pious’s house with his many wives and children. Then one day she is offered a life-changing opportunity—a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo, a man she doesn’t truly know. She acquiesces, but soon realizes that Elikem is not quite the catch he seemed. He sends a stand-in to his own wedding, and only weeks after Afi is married and installed in a plush apartment in the capital city of Accra does she meet her new husband. It turns out that he is in love with another woman, whom his family disapproves of; Afi is supposed to win him back on their behalf. But it is Accra that eventually wins Afi’s heart and gives her a life of independence that she never could have imagined for herself.

My two-bits:

At first it was tough reading of the classic theme of life revolving around and focused on a man. But then, the protagonist gradually comes around and this turns into a wonderful story of a woman coming into her own. Set in West Africa, you get a sense of the culture and women's perspective and pressures.

~*~

* Listened to audiobook version.
* part of Armchair Autumn Travel (here)
* part of Reese's Book Club 2020 (here)

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