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Butter Honey Pig Bread

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,670 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Spanning three continents, Butter Honey Pig Bread tells the interconnected stories of three Nigerian women: Kambirinachi and her twin daughters, Kehinde and Taiye. Kambirinachi believes that she is an Ogbanje, or an Abiku, a non-human spirit that plagues a family with misfortune by being born and then dying in childhood to cause a human mother misery. She has made the unna ...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published November 3rd 2020
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a drop-dead gorgeous debut!

This is a sensual love letter to our time before Covid. Where you could cook dinner for a stranger with the promise of something more. Where people could still traverse the globe, hopping from Lagos to Halifax and France. Quaint cafes invited close conversation over the steaming scent of tea and restaurants didn't reflexively evoke notions of failing hole-in-the-walls, roped off booths to maintain social distancing, and waitresses wearing facemasks and shields to
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“Hold it gently, this hungry beast that is your heart.”

Butter Honey Pig Bread explores the complex relationship two sisters who were once close but have become estranged as adults. Their mother, Kambirinachi, believes that she is an Ogbanje, a malevolent spirit who haunts mothers by 'coming' and 'going' (usually the child dies in childhood). After being born and dying a few times Kambirinachi decides to remain in the 'earthly' realm and goes on to become
What a delicious, beautiful book this is. Three Nigerian women, a mother and her twin daughters, have drifted apart as adults as a result of one of the girls being sexually assaulted in childhood. The story goes back and forth from the past to the present when they have reunited in Lagos. It's a heartbreaking story in many parts (miscarriage, suicide, and the death of a parent by homicide also feature in the book) but it is somehow not a dark story at all, but one full of life and hope.

The char
Jessica Woodbury
A moving and vivid debut about a rift between two sisters. I start a lot of debut novels and I do not finish most of them. I ask a lot of books and you can't really tell which ones will deliver so I try to get a broad swath of them and hope the good ones will hook me. It took just a little bit of time for this book to get its hooks in me. But it was easy to keep turning pages and soon I was absolutely in its thrall.

The two stories of Taiye and Kehinde feel so much like real people and real life,
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poc-author
I looved this book so much. I just wanted to luxuriate in the writing of this book forever

Watch my full review:
Christine (TheOtherChristineThatReads) McMillan
This was such a stunning book. The pain, grief, longing, and love felt real and tangible and so so warm. I loved it and cannot recommend it enough.
Francesca Ekwuyasi's Butter Honey Pig Bread is a gorgeous, thoughtful book about family, trauma, and (eventually) healing. Portraying three generations of women, three continents, and three-plus decades, this is an engrossing character study of the Adejide women. Each in turn, these three characters share their perspective, tiptoeing around the Bad Thing that, in various ways, signaled the fracturing of their family unit.

Kambirinachi is a woman who has stolen happiness from fate, and she has pai
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully and carefully written. This book was captivating from the first page and right until its emotional end. The author handles these complex characters with great care and love. I will reread this book as I miss them already
Darryl Suite
I wanted a little more from the fourth section "Bread," but I gotta say this novel is pretty absorbing. And it made me hungry all the damn time. So many detailed descriptions of food and the preparation of food. I want those dishes.

This novel is a fascinating exploration of Nigerian culture and tradition; the ramifications of sexual trauma; queer identity and sexuality; and the fracture of family.
No rating. I only got to just under 100. The language is too wordy, overblown for me. I can't keep the names or places straight and at times I don't even know where I am. Too much rereading required. Voids in time too. Plodding and plodding, not enjoying. Especially with the meme of dying and dying over and over again. On to another. ...more
Butter Honey Pig Bread tells the story of a mother, Kambirinachi, and her two daughters, Kehinde and Taiye.  Kambirinachi was born an Ogbanje – a spirit that brings misfortunes to families in the form of a miscarriage or early childhood death.  Rather than succumb to her purpose Kambi decides to live, thus spends her life caught between her will to exist and her desire to die.

Her daughters suffered through a traumatic event early in their lives that would go on to create a seemingly irreparable
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2020
4.5 stars maybe.

This book! I loved it. The sibling relationship, the incorporation of Yoruba culture, the food, the pain, the tears, the beginning of healing; I was here for it all.

Stories that are told from multiple personal perspectives and in different voices have always been favourites. They expand the narrative and add layers to the story-telling atmosphere and what the author is trying to achieve, develop complex characters and elevate as well as add depth to interactions. It also serves
Colleen Earle
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada-reads
This book has deeply hurt me and I loved it.
It is such a deeply emotional read. So raw and real.
I will think about this book for a long time.
Friends, expect this as a gift in the coming months (if you want a copy)
I have so much love for this book.
5+ stars //

An absolutely flooring debut. This is the first of the Canada Reads books I’ve read so far this year and let me tell you, it sets the bar sky. freaking. high for the others. This is a book about:

- Love. Mother love, queer love, non-binary love, platonic love.
- Trauma. Rape, murder, miscarriages, abortions, eating disorders, mental illness, body image issues, casual and reckless sex, drugs, alcohol.
- Faith. In oneself, in others, in family, in sisterhoods, in a higher being, in hea

Punctuated with mouthwatering recipes and a dash of the spiritual, Butter Honey Pig Bread is a touching novel about the unbreakable bonds of family. The narrative cycles through the three women’s perspectives. Each picks her own way along the path to healing, but they all realize that, to understand what is happening now, they must examine how they got to this point. Their stories—of Kambirinachi’s troubled youth, Taiye’s wild hedonism, and Kehinde’s struggle for self-acceptance—are compell
An absolute gem of a book about a mother and her twin daughters, and the reason for their many-years long estrangement.
The writing is fabulous, and the characters are wonderfully alive, with twins Taiye and Kehinde and their mother Kambirinachi (who believes she's a spirit who brings bad luck to her family), are held together with fraying bonds.
Author Francesca Ekwuyasi follows each woman separately, drawing vivid portraits of each: Kambirinachi with her ability to see things no one else can, Ta
yenni m
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I reread the last 50 pages! I missed a few little things and the great big last one that was so so easily overlooked with my fast eyes thinking the last sentence wouldn't bear much to story

It makes sense because the first read got intense, pace picked up, my heart rate sped up, my heart and throat got heavy. This was very rare and it took my breath.

I adored this story. It wasn't light and that suits me just right. Each character was wonderfully composed, their emotions delivered in a
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giller-prize
Honestly I had troubled getting into this book at the beginning, however by the end I was absolutely in love with it. It is a beautiful portrayal of the lives of a mother and her two twin daughters, and the messy and complicated layers of human relationships.
I almost kind of hate when a book is exactly as gorgeous and brilliant as I was led to believe it would be lol what is wrong with me.

Butter Honey Pig Bread could easily fit into the category of "multi-generational family drama", a genre I rarely approach and when I do it's with great hesitation. The narrative also switches between 3 (or 4) POVs - something that I generally hate because it's hard for me to get into the swing of things. However, this book perfectly closes its own loops as the plo
Jessica Haider
I am so happy that I picked up this debut novel! Francesca Ekwuyasi weaves a tale about three Nigerian women and how their lives were fractured and yet they are still connected.

Kambirinachi lives in Lagos, Nigeria and believes that she is a spirit who brings bad luck to her family. Her husband is murdered and she is left with her twin daughters Kehinde and Taiye. After one of the girl's is sexually abused, their lives are torn assunder.
At the age of 18, Kehinde immigrates to Canada and cuts he
Carolyn Klassen
3.5 stars rounded up

I read Butter Honey Pig Bread in anticipation for Canada Reads though it's been on my radar since it released. It's one of two that I really hoped would win. Though this didn't finish first (yay Jonny Appleseed!), I still think there is so much value to this book.
At the heart of this book is the exploration of love and how it heals. Familial love between mother and daughter, sister to sister. Romantic love between partners. The love Taiye pours into her recipes that heal wit
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an ARC through netgalley!!!! this book was absolutely STUNNING. probably one of my favorites of 2021 already. the characters and their relationships, whether with one another or external, were SO dynamic and intimate and i fell in love with each of the three women. this book draws you in and paints a beautiful picture of their lives as they travel the world and reconnect and fall in love. i can’t believe this is a debut book because it’s s ...more
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I hope every book I read in '21 is as good as this one. An amazing and powerful story of 2 sisters and their mum dealing with tragedy and loneliness. The writing was heartfelt, very well done, and the characters alive and breathing. It's been a while since I've read a book of such intimacy and to feel exactly what the characters are going through. And the food and cooking! If you're a foodie, you're in for a treat. ...more
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What can I say? This was a fabulous, fabulous novel. Ekwuyasi has crafted such a beautiful story about love, family, faith, pleasure,’s all balanced so well and explored through such diverse voices.

Alok Vaid Menon, a writer and queer artist, often says that a writer’s job is to put language to the intangible. This book did that for me in a lot of ways.

Consumption is a central theme in this novel. Consumption of food...of bodies...of spirit... being consumed b
Magical! Once I got into the rhythm I loved these 3 women. This is a book to read slowly and savour. I did not but I intend to go back to it and soak up all the delicious morsels. Gorgeous cover!
p. 95
“She let time speed past her like a warm breeze when you drive with your windows down. Three years went by in a languid blink.”
p. 188
“Isabella kept in touch; she tended to the garden of her life and grew a community.”
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
f*cking incredible.
Genevieve Macrae
This is my new favorite book.
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True rating - 4.5 stars. Excellent debut!!
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ekwuyasi's writing style is gorgeous, particularly the way she writes about food and cooking. I really loved this, each character was so fleshed out but in a way that didn't feel exposition-y. The twins not feeling like they belong kind of gave me Vanishing Half vibes, but this is a very different book. ...more
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
This is a decent book, but it took me a long time to read. It just didn’t hold my interest. At least I have another Canada Reads title off the list. I’m not feeling especially passionate about any of the shortlisted books I’ve read so far.
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francesca ekwuyasi is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Her work explores themes of faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness, and belonging.

francesca's debut novel, Butter Honey Pig Bread was longlisted for the 2020 Giller Prize and is a contender for CBC's 2021 Canada Reads competition.

Her writing has been published in Winter Tangerine Review, Brittle Paper, T

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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
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