Book of the Month: Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò
Shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Prize, Stay With Me is the tale of one woman’s desperate attempts to get pregnant and the resulting agonies and implications of failure in society
About the book
Set against the social and political turbulence of contemporary Nigeria, Stay with Me weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. A happily married couple, Yejide and Akin, are faced with childlessness in a society that sees a childless woman as worthless and, in such a case, the husband's duty to take another wife to bear his offspring. Shortlisted for last year's Baileys Prize, this short but beautiful novel will stay with you until long after the final page.
About the author
Ayobami Adebayo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Stay With Me is her first novel and was short listed for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Ayòbámi says: “I'm delighted that Stay With Me has been selected as Mumsnet's book club pick and I hope those who read it will connect with the stories and its characters. It's a book that was inspired by a mother and which I hope speaks to mums everywhere.”
What our bloggers thought
“As a debut novel it was innovative and inspiring, and I think, as a believer in miracles, it’s absolutely worth reading to see if Yejide and Akin were blessed with theirs.”
“This book really makes you stop and consider the lengths people will go to – and the losses and let-downs they have to face before that – to have a family.”
“Ayòbámi Adébáyò writes incredibly well and has a wonderful ability to make tangled family relationships appear clearer. She does this through an intimate understanding of her character, and her concerns, her hope and her self-doubt.”
“It’s a novel about the strength of women, it’s also about hope and as such you will find yourself reading this novel and hoping for a miracle for Yejide because if anyone deserves a miracle it’s Yejide.”
“I was daunted at the prospect of reading Stay with Me: a harrowing subject matter, a location that was miles away from my comfort zone and a host of accolades to its name. But as soon as I started reading it, I was transported and hooked. I couldn't put it down.”
“Once I reminded myself to enter the story fully I was swept along and felt every tiny injustice which chipped away at her identity as a woman, a wife and a mother.”
If you're interested in joining us, do grab yourself a copy. Or first, check out the book by reading or listening to the extracts below.
Ayòbámi Adébáyò will be joining us to discuss and answer questions about Stay With Me on Thursday 29 March between 9 and 10pm.
New to Mumsnet Book Club? Find out how it works, and what we'll be reading in the next few months
Prices correct at time of publication