Stacey's Reviews > The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin
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's review
Nov 12, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction
Recommended to Stacey by: Orange Prize long list
Recommended for: All Women, book clubs

The synopsis of this book is what initially drew me in, i thought it would be a nice light read and I was intrigued to read a story about a Nigerian polygamist and his wives....not that I didn't know immediately what the "secret" must have been, I mean come on, 4 wives, one unable to conceive and a devastating secret that could destroy them all??? But it doesn't matter, this book is about so much more then a racy secret.
It is about the complexities of family, jealousy, trust, and culture.
This novel could have been very dark and depressing given it's content and all the things these characters had to endure, but it wasn't, at all.
You expect to dislike Baba Segi, but you can't.
Each character is sensitively written, all of their qualities and flaws laid bare for you to see, and completely brought to life by Shoneyin. You love them, hate them, but ultimately you understand them, what drives them, why they are who they know them, and realize it doesn't matter what side of the world you are on, what socio-economic/cultural background you come from, or even the colour of your skin. We are all the same - shaped into the people we become by our experiences.
This is an exquisite novel, simple yet beautiful, and I highly recommend it to women and book clubs everywhere.

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Reading Progress

November 12, 2011 – Started Reading
November 12, 2011 – Shelved
November 12, 2011 –
page 53
18.93% "So far a very easy and engaging read about an African polygamist and his wives."
November 13, 2011 –
page 87
November 14, 2011 –
page 158
56.43% "Having a hard time getting anything done, this one keeps calling me back!! Lol"
November 16, 2011 –
page 195
69.64% "Work is seriously getting in the way of my reading time...I refuse to sleep until it's good!!"
November 16, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction
November 16, 2011 – Finished Reading

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