Stay with Me Stay with Me question

Can we discuss the ending? *spoiler warning*
But_i_thought_ But_i_thought_ May 20, 2017 11:42AM

I enjoyed the majority of this book but was annoyed by the ending.

Yejide finds out that she has unwittingly abandoned her daughter and missed her formative years, leaving her husband as a single parent, yet she seems to experience no guilt or self-torment about her decisions? Surely such a reunion would not just encompass "joy and wonder", as described in the book, but also grief at missing out so many years and immense remorse?

Also, Akin seems to experience no resentment about the enormous task of being left to raise a child alone, and was hesitant to invite and inform Yejide in the first place?

The reunion is handled with the casualness of two bashful teens eyeing each other after a hasty break-up - far too uncomplicated when there is a child in the mix, in my opinion.

Please share your thoughts?

deleted member (last edited Sep 14, 2017 05:39PM ) Sep 14, 2017 05:38PM   0 votes
Wonderful discussion. Yes, I think Yejide is in shock. I was thrilled that Timi has been raised in such a fashion by Akin that she can smile while she tells Yejide she has to release her from the [imagine how shocked] embrace before Timi can leave the room. I am thrilled to have so much about Nigeria being put out there. I remember the abuse Teju Cole took on Open City, because, at least me, American, I had to research Nigerian history after I read Cole's brilliant, brilliant book. I loved this book, too. Maybe Ms. Adelbayo is telling us to come into this new and threatening and disturbing world ready to open our arms? I don't know. Except that the ending elevated the entire book for me. Thank you!!

I just finished the book -- I didn't interpret the ending in the same way. I thought the book closed with Yejide still in the shock stage, without yet having the ability to fully process her grief. She was so shut down at the time she left, without any opportunity or need to revisit that locked trunk over the years, that all the emotions she would eventually feel were not going to rise to the surface immediately when learning of her daughter's existence.

And I think Akin feels so much guilt over the circumstances of conception -- and his initial deception of someone who was not sexually experienced enough to understand what was happening -- that he sees raising his daughter as something he owes Yejide at this point. (He was willing to let everyone in his family and community but Dotun think that Yejide was crazy to experience her phantom pregnancy and then continued infertility, and used it to justify taking a second wife.)

It doesn't strike me as that far-fetched, given all that happened, that it took him until the point of his father's death to take decisive action to contact Yejide and bring her home and/or to only do it because Rotimi was old enough to express her own wishes that he couldn't ignore indefinitely. It's not like he ever stood up to his mother. At heart, he has internalized his impotence as weakness that permeates his entire personality and life choices. He sees himself as weak, so therefore he is.

But_i_thought_ Thank you for your thoughtful response! It's interesting for me to see how others reacted to the ending. ...more
Aug 22, 2017 04:34AM · flag
deleted user Oh, I came back to edit, and can't edit a question. But I am thinking and thinking. Maybe if we read more books like this by women, we will learn more ...more
Sep 14, 2017 05:58PM · flag

I do agree that it was a strange ending. I didn't understand how Yejide's frustrations with fertility would lead to her abandoning the child that she eventually does have. I did enjoy that the narrative of child abandonment is flipped in the story. It is such a common narrative that fathers abandon their wives and children, whereas here it is the mother who leaves and the father who is a single parent. That being said, I found it hard to believe the "I tried to find you but couldn't" from Yejide, it felt a bit disingenuous when examined alongside her actions. What an easy ending to have them reunited again once Akin finally "finds her address".

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