,
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “His Only Wife” as Want to Read:
His Only Wife
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

His Only Wife

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  23,969 ratings  ·  2,806 reviews
“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 fa
...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Algonquin Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about His Only Wife, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Amna Hussain Would've been nice if he were added back in to her life even as a friend at the end…moreWould've been nice if he were added back in to her life even as a friend at the end(less)
Somtoo Uwakwe I would actually. Even though their love story was pretty fucked up, I would say there's some elements of love in there mixed with other themes.
love …more
I would actually. Even though their love story was pretty fucked up, I would say there's some elements of love in there mixed with other themes.
love stories don't always have to have happy endings guys. lol.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,969 ratings  ·  2,806 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of His Only Wife
emma
I was never bored while reading this, but as soon as I finished I wondered how I was not constantly bored.

I mean, yes, this book supplied me with a sort of figurative IV of drama, a constant drip of tea that offered me restorative health benefits, a steady stream of scandal the likes of which I want every single conversation I have to take inspiration from.

But I didn't care much about the characters. You'd think that should make a difference, because who wants juicy details about the lives of pe
...more
Jite
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this contemporary African story about love, marriage, culture and what it means to be the perfect daughter, wife and to “keep your home.” The premise is that Afi, is a young seamstress from a rural town in Ghana who wins the proverbial lottery when she’s selected by her family’s wealthy benefactors to marry their favourite son, Eli, who’s involved with a woman they do not approve of. Afi’s task as the new (traditionally-wed, family-approved) wife is to divert Eli’s at ...more
Jessica Woodbury
A domestic drama that opens up the lives of Ghanaian women, should appeal to fans of STAY WITH ME, as it also analyzes the implications of African polygamous patriarchy on modern women.

Afi does not have much. Her father is dead, her mother struggles to support her, her large extended family neglects her, and she is not gifted enough at schoolwork to get into a university. What she does have is her good looks, a good upbringing, and a talent for sewing and design. She is married to the son of her
...more
Kezia Duah
Mar 29, 2022 rated it liked it
“She’s a woman who you don’t like because she does as she pleases.”

I’ve never been this conflicted about a book. Feel free to thoroughly curse me out if I say anything in my review that is disrespectful to the culture in the book. I do understand that this book was portraying the reality for a lot of women in Ghana, but I was still very uncomfortable with many parts of the plot.

Afi lives in Ho with her mom, and life has been really hard for them ever since Afi’s dad died. When she is presented
...more
Danielle
Jun 26, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was kinda a snoozer. It felt incredibly long, in terms of details, details, details- that didn’t necessarily further the story. 🥱 The juicy bits, of love, lust, other woman drama, etc. were great. But everything in between was just kinda a bore. 😬 it’s an okay read, but not the best.
BookOfCinz
Updated January 25, 2021
Re-read this book for BookOfCinz Book Club and as I thought, I absolutely enjoyed it even more. I cannot wait for book club to talk about it all!

Marriage shouldn’t be a never-ending competition where you spend your life fighting to be seen and chosen

Peace Adzo Medie’s debut novel His Only Wife is a book you will read and continue to think about for months to come. The story opens up in a small town in Ghana, we meet Afi Tekple a young seamstress who is about to ge
...more
luce (currently recovering from a hiatus)
| | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | |

“All men are the same, they only know how to love themselves and to sit on women.”


His Only Wife is an engrossing story that hooked me from the very first line: “Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.”. The novel tells the story of Afi, a young woman who works as a seamstress in a small town in Ghana. When Faustina Ganyo, her benefactor who also happens to be her widowed mother's boss, arranges her marriage to her own son, Afi views it as a
...more
Faith
Dec 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is basically a Lifetime movie set in Ghana. Not my style at all. Aki and Eli are virtual strangers with an arranged marriage because Eli’s mother and siblings want to pry him away from his Liberian girlfriend Muna and their young daughter Ivy. Eli is wealthy and accomplished yet he obeys his mother’s demand to marry, although he won’t extricate himself from Muna and continues to live with her. Aki is set up in a luxurious apartment, which Eli visits from time to time. He’s rich, handso ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest


My first book by Peace Adzo Medie but not the last. I bought this when it was on sale and am only just now getting around to reading it. Set in Ghana, this book is kind of a subtle take-down of patriarchal values through the medium of a domestic drama. Our heroine, Afi, is a poor girl with a widowed mother who relies on her selfish uncle for goodwill until she is married to a rich guy who doesn't even bother to show up to the wedding. As
...more
Rincey
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author, favorites
This book gripped me from page one.

Watch my review: https://youtu.be/XUpzX4tXTOA
...more
Amy Imogene Reads
A modern tale of one woman discovering her own sense of purpose in Ghana amidst family drama, expectations, and marriage. I'm not one who automatically goes for domestic stories, so extremely pleased to say that this was such a fantastic read.

Characters: ★★★★★
Plot/Pacing: ★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★ 1/2

“Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.”

That's the first line. I think it's charismatic enough on its own—it definitely made me want to pick it up—but for the sake of reviewing, le
...more
Lisa
Nov 15, 2020 rated it liked it
[3+] His Only Wife is a breezy beach read about a poor Ghanian woman who marries a wealthy, handsome man. A Cinderella story with a complication - her husband is entangled with another woman. I was hoping for more substance but there's not much to this novel - in spite of all the hype. ...more
Berit Talks Books
What. A. Book. This is my sleeper 5 star read of 2020. Peace Adzo Medie as masterfully woven together the unforgettable story of Afi a young girl from Ghana. Afi’s Family has arranged a marriage for her to a wealthy man, Eli. Afi is confused when Eli doesn’t even show up for the wedding ceremony but instead sends his brother as a stand in. Afi and her mother are then relocated to the big city where Afi finds out she’s not living in the marital home nor does she see Eli for weeks. it soon becomes ...more
K.J. Charles
Set in Ghana, the story of a young woman married off to a man who has a girlfriend and child, in the hope she'll get rid of the other woman.

It's hugely readable--our heroine has a likeable voice, the physical setting and social details are superbly vividly drawn, the other characters well sketched. The only thing is, there's virtually no plot. It's a sequence of stuff that happens--they marry, they spend time together, she sets up a business, other people come in and out of her life, she makes a
...more
Kuukuwa
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely, excellent, entertaining book! And what a journey! I laughed often, I cried at some points, I got annoyed at and on behalf of the main character. I even wanted to fight some of the characters.

I also wanted to fight the author at some point for writing such an unputdownable book (In my being engrossed I might have missed some deadlines and this is obviously her fault, not mine)... and also for the ending (I’ll leave you to judge)!

Such a fantastic first novel. Can’t wait to read
...more
Sheena
His only wife starts off interesting enough with Afi marrying a man who hasn't even attended the wedding. After that, it falls flat. Afi seems naive, too timid and it wasn’t really likable. I wanted a strong protagonist and that’s what I had expected but I got the opposite. I do think the characters had strong voices and the family drama had potential but I just was bored and couldn’t wait for this to end.

Thanks to Netgalley and Workman Audio for the copy of an audiobook in exchange for an hones
...more
Read In Colour
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
"Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding." When I read those words, I thought surely this novel was set in the past because who does that in the present. While the book is set in the past, it's not in the distant past, it's 2014.

The bride, Afi, has been given a mission by the family of her betrothed - force the break up of your husband and his girlfriend and return him to the family fold. That's not a small order, is it? But it seems a small price to pay for all Aunty Faus
...more
chantel nouseforaname
This story didn't do it for me. I felt like there were too many plotholes and I don't know why I thought this would be an African thriller in the same vein of My Sister, the Serial Killer — it wasn't.

His Only Wife is a family drama in the vein of a somewhat twisted Cinderella story. However, no one, especially the main character Afi, asked enough questions for me. She didn't try to meet the other woman before giving herself away to this man. She just raged.

The publisher's summary of this book
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Apparently Kirkus Reviews has called this the new Crazy Rich Asians?????



I mean, unless the only requirement is to show a wedding from another country/culture. I guess if that’s the criteria then good job, Kirkus, you really nailed it!

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one. I picked it up because it was one of Reece’s book club books and although I knew I wanted to start a new book, I also knew I would totally be hooked on S
...more
Eva K (journeyofthepages)
His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie is a poignant tale of love, perseverance, and faith.

This story was eye opening, exposing me to a whole world and culture that I know nothing about. This is a valuable book portraying a very difficult subject foreign to many. Author Peace Adzo Medie is known to be an advocate for women's rights and this story, ultimately, is about just that. But even more, it is about a woman determining her own rights and discovering her own worth and value in a world run by me
...more
Nursebookie
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Peace Adzo Medie writes a timely novel about the strength and sacrifices of women for their family, to gain acceptance of the cultural and social norms, as well as, the cost of life choices.

Young Afi Tekple's life is about to change. She is given an opportunity of a lifetime - to receive a proposal of marriage to one of the wealthiest families in their small town. Aunty Faustina Ganyo has helped Afi and her widowed mother Olivia, so when this opportunity arose to marry Aunty's son Elikem, Afi c
...more
Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer
The book is set in Ghana and narrated by Afi – a young woman who lives with her widowed mother in a small town, and works as a seamstress. The book opens in the house of her Uncle Pious, her father’s oldest brother and family patriarch (a role he largely sees as a means to extract money from his family) – Afi is being married to Elikem (the son of her mother’s boss – Auntie – or Faustina Ganyo – who has been a great benefactor to the family) but Elikem is absent and his brother Richard stands in ...more
Hena J. Bryan
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Hello babies,

This post is for those who’ve been finding it difficult to read as of late; I’m not entirely sure what’s in the air, but whatever is floating around isn’t conducive to getting through a book.

However, despite the rut, I’ve been willing myself to read when and where I can even if it takes me an entire week.

I recently read 𝙃𝙞𝙨 𝙊𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙒𝙞𝙛𝙚 by Peace Adzo Medie and was. . . hooked.

𝙉𝙊𝙒 I’m quite a fussy reader who doesn’t shy away from critique – especially when it comes to popular books – s
...more
Crystal (Melanatedreader) Forte'
So many people can catch these hands in this book. My list is long. Read this book.
Gabriella
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
This book’s review meme is for my Love & Hip Hop fans. For those of y’all that are exceeding your reading goals instead of catching up on VH1, here’s a little context LOL.

Now, for my less profane thoughts: His Only Wife is an enthralling story about two Ghanian families, one love triangle, and the people and places caught in between them.

I mention place because Peace Adzo Medie accomplishes a wonderful pull-and-push between the two main geographic settings in the story: the big city (Accra) and
...more
Nakia
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I expected something more along the lines of Stay With Me or The Hairdresser of Harare , or The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives , but this was pretty dry and anticlimactic, like reading about the weather. Very little action, and lite on the drama and plot when there were more than a few opportunities to bring it. I would've even been open to liking it more had it gone the route of Crazy Rich Asians and made 60% of the book about wealth and luxury, but this was very tame in compariso ...more
Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins
I loved the premise, and the glorious setting that Medie brought to life. I wish the characters had been drawn with a similar level detail; as it is, I didn’t feel I really got to know any of them, and the dialogue was a bit too clunky to really reel me in. Still, it’s a fun take on the Cinderella story, one I look forward to seeing on the screen.

My full review of His Only Wife is up now on Keeping Up With The Penguins.
...more
Aubrey
Oct 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Afi is one of the most unlikable protagonists I’ve ever encountered. Her naivety was exhausting and her lack of common sense towards her situation gave me secondhand embarrassment.
Kathryn in FL
Wow! 4- What a debut - Stars!

I don't know what I was expecting, a slice of life of a small city girl, whose wildest dreams come true when she marries the town's golden son. That was like a description on a menu, it offers only an introduction to what actually exists, then the meal beautifully plated is gently placed by a waiter with a gorgeous smile before you and you inhale the essence mingling before you! You've been dreaming about your visit to this 5 star restaurant this all month, it is in
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Les Misérables
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
  • Untamed
  • Persuasion
  • Trust Exercise
  • Love Warrior
  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers
  • Lost Children Archive
  • Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2)
  • The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness
  • The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3)
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton
  • The Empress
  • Inked with a Kiss (Thorn & Thistle, #2)
  • Tsarina
  • Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time
  • Offerings
  • Upright Women Wanted
See similar books…
See top shelves…
327 followers
Peace Adzo Medie is a Ghanaian writer and senior lecturer in gender and international politics at the University of Bristol in England. Prior to that she was a research fellow at the University of Ghana. She has published several short stories, and her book Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa was published by Oxford University Press in 2020. She is ...more

Articles featuring this book

Real-life wedding season is in full swing these days, but if you're looking for a way to experience the romance or—let's be honest—the drama of...
50 likes · 5 comments
“Please, put love aside and be practical. Love will not put food on the table; it won’t hold you at night.” 6 likes
“It takes strength to walk away from someone you love.” 6 likes
More quotes…