Cultures Clash in Ayobami Adebayo’s Debut, ‘Stay With Me’

in Fiction by

Stay With MeStay With Me Ayobami Adebayo is a story about a Nigerian young couple, Yejide and Akin, who married for love as they faced the challenges of infertility. In their culture, having children is expected, and they are desperate to become parents. Yejide’s mother died when she gave birth so she hopes her feelings of belonging to no one will be rectified once she has a baby. Akin’s mother is relentless and goes behind her daughter-in-law’s back to present other women to her son so he can become a father. The couple had agreed polygamy was not for them but the mother persisted and they unwillingly accepted another wife.

Desperation to become pregnant leads Yejide, a modern, working woman, to superstition and ritual and she convinces herself she is with child. Saddled with the burden of male pride, Akin does his own scheming to make sure there is a baby in their future. When Yejide finally gives birth, there are feelings of betrayal and jealously amidst the joy. The political unrest in Nigeria is the backdrop as this powerful story travels back and forth from the late 1980s when the couple first meets to 2008. The emotional journey of this imperfect marriage packs a punch every step of the way.

Author Ayobami Adebayo sheds some light on cultural traditions and expectations that Nigerians aim to adhere to. In this compact, hard hitting 250 page novel, we experience the course this troubled marriage travels, the joys of births and the sorrow of deaths, hopes, superstitions, and brutal realities. With complex characters that make difficult decisions to guide their paths, Stay With Me is heartbreaking, revealing, and a must read debut.


Ayobami Adebayo has had stories appear in a number of magazines and anthologies. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English and has worked as an editor Saraba Magazine since 2009.


Be a BookTrib Ambassador! 
Sign up NOW for our weekly newsletter.

Jennifer Gans Blankfein is a freelance marketing consultant and book reviewer. She graduated from Lehigh University with a Psychology degree and has a background in advertising. Her experience includes event coordination and fundraising along with editing a weekly, local, small business newsletter. Jennifer loves to talk about books, is an avid reader, and currently writes a book blog, Book Nation by Jen. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two sons and black lab.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Go to Top

Fatal error: Uncaught wfWAFStorageFileException: Unable to save temporary file for atomic writing. in /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/booktrib-staging/public/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/lib/storage/file.php:30 Stack trace: #0 /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/booktrib-staging/public/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/lib/storage/file.php(650): wfWAFStorageFile::atomicFilePutContents('/srv/users/serv...', '<?php exit('Acc...') #1 [internal function]: wfWAFStorageFile->saveConfig('transient') #2 {main} thrown in /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/booktrib-staging/public/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/lib/storage/file.php on line 30