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My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Kindle Edition
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Editors' pick: This short debut packs a brutal punch, crackling with glee and sly humor. Pages never turned so fast."—Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Editor
"Lethally elegant." —LUKE JENNINGS, author of KILLING EVE: Codename Villanelle
"Disturbing, sly and delicious." —AYOBAMI ADEBAYO, author of STAY WITH ME
"A taut, rapidly paced thriller that pleasurably subverts serial killer and sisterhood tropes for a guaranteed fun afternoon." —HUFFINGTON POST
“It’s Lagos noir—pulpy, peppery and sinister, served up in a comic deadpan…This book is, above all, built to move, to hurtle forward—and it does so, dizzyingly. There’s a seditious pleasure in its momentum. At a time when there are such wholesome and dull claims on fiction—on its duty to ennoble or train us in empathy—there’s a relief in encountering a novel faithful to art’s first imperative: to catch and keep our attention… This scorpion-tailed little thriller leaves a response, and a sting, you will remember.” —PARUL SEHGAL, NEW YORK TIMES
“Campy and delightfully naughty…A taut and darkly funny contemporary noir that moves at lightning speed, it’s the wittiest and most fun murder party you’ve ever been invited to.” —SAM IRBY, MARIE CLAIRE
“Braithwaite’s writing pulses with the fast, slick heartbeat of a YA thriller, cut through by a dry noir wit. That aridity is startling, a trait we might expect from someone older, more jaded—a Cusk, an Offill. But Braithwaite finds in young womanhood a reason to be bitter. At the center of these women’s lives is a knot of pain, and when it springs apart, it bloodies the world.” —NEW REPUBLIC
“This riveting, brutally hilarious, ultra-dark novel is an explosive debut by Oyinkan Braithwaite, and heralds an exciting new literary voice… Delicious.” —NYLON
"You can't help flying through the pages.." —BUZZFEED
“Oyinkan Braithwaite is rewriting the slasher novel, and man, does it look good. My Sister, The Serial Killer is a wholly original novel where satire and serial killers brush up against each other… A terrific and clever novel about sisterhood and blurred lines of morality.” —REFINERY29
“A rich, dark debut. . . . Evocative of the murderously eccentric Brewster sisters from the classic play and film “Arsenic and Old Lace,” . . . Braithwaite doesn’t mock the murders as comic fodder, and that’s just one of the unexpected pleasures of her quirky novel. . . . A clever, affecting examination of siblings bound by a secret with a body count.” —BOSTON GLOBE
“A biting mix of wickedness and wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite weaves her narrative with a confidence that you've never read anything quite like it.” —INSTYLE
"Braithwaite’s blazing debut is as sharp as a knife...bitingly funny and brilliantly executed, with not a single word out of place." —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, (starred review)
"Strange, funny and oddly touching...Pretty much perfect...It wears its weirdness excellently." —LITHUB
"Who is more dangerous? A femme fatale murderess or the quiet, plain woman who cleans up her messes? I never knew what was going to happen, but found myself pulling for both sisters, as I relished the creepiness and humor of this modern noir." —HELEN ELLIS, author of AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE
"A gem, in the most accurate sense: small, hard, sharp, and polished to perfection. Every pill-sized chapter is exemplary." —EDGAR CANTERO, author of MEDDLING KIDS
"Sly, risky, and filled with surprises, Oyinkan Braithwaite holds nothing back in this wry and refreshingly inventive novel about violence, sister rivalries and simply staying alive." —IDRA NOVEY, author of THOSE WHO KNEW
- ASIN : B079WNMQ4V
- Publisher : Anchor (November 20, 2018)
- Publication date : November 20, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 2544 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 228 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,476 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The book is not so much different than any other serial killer novel in respect to voice. There's only the occasional dialect reference. Instead of the Canadian “eh?' we get an “o”. Instead of maam we get “ma,” at least that's my best guess, but it's mostly told in standard English by an educated narrator.
The book starts with the murder of Koreda's younger sister's Ayoola's boyfriend with a knife. She's only 5' 2” and he's over six feet tall, but he wasn't expecting her to stab him with a six inch pig-sticker she got from her father's desk after he died. Rather than call the cops, Koreda, who happens to be a nurse, helps her clean up the mess and get rid of the body. We're told this is the third boyfriend, which makes Ayoola a serial killer.
Koreda loves her sister; they slept together and occasionally still do, but only as normal sisters would. Nothing hinky there. There is lots of jealousy on Koreda's part. Ayoola is very beautiful and she attracts men with little effort. Koreda is rather plain. Koreda is also in love with Tade a good-natured doctor at the hospital.
Koreda visits a man who has been in a coma for some time, thinking he'll never wake up. She tells him all about her sister and the angst involved in not being able to bring herself to do anything about the murders. She's implicated herself, after all.
Ayoola is also a fashion designer, her schooling paid for by a sugar daddy who also helped her start her business. They go off on a vacation in Dubai. Prior to this Koreda has easily snatched Tade away from Koreda, but she doesn't seem to think there's anything unusual about running off with another man. During the vacation, she changes her M.O. a bit. Of course she puts the weight on Koreda.
Oh, yes, the girls' father was abusive; there's a scene where he punishes Ayoola with his belt; Koreda tries to save her but gets in the way of the belt more than helping Ayoola.
So . . . Koreda uses their upbringing as an excuse for why Ayoola is doing what she's doing. There's another scene where Ayoola takes the blame for something Koreda did.
The climax arrives with a big complication. Somebody besides Koreda knows what Ayoola has been doing. Think about who that might be. And Ayoola is stabbed herself. Let's just say she asked for it, but the wrong person pays when Koreda continues to protect her sister.
How will it all end?
Korede is the older sister. She is a nurse who is very responsible and plays by the rules. Fortunately for her younger sister Ayoola, Korede also knows how to clean up a crime scene! Ayoola is beautiful, creative, and gets everything she wants. She also has the bad habit of killing off her boyfriends. Korede begrudgingly helps her sister hide the evidence and also keeps her from giving away their secrets. That is until Ayoola catches the eye of a young doctor who Korede has been pining for herself. Should she try to save him? Can she? Will he believe her?
The book is written in short chapters that are as sharp as Ayoola’s knife. As the story of the sisters, their mother, and their deceased father unfold, you begin to understand how Ayoola developed into a murderess. This is a short book and a quick read. There is a lot left unsaid. There are some nice twists and I think that the ending is left open to some interpretation. In my opinion, Korede does not know her sister as well as she believes and is as easily manipulated as Ayoola’s boyfriends. This book is as darkly fun as it is psychologically sophisticated.
It is about two sisters, one who is a serial killer and the other is a nurse who cleans up after her sister's crimes. They live in Lagos, Nigeria.
The premise of the book seems very realistic. The girls were raised by a very abusive father and don't know what real love looks like. However, there is a strong aspect of satire because everything is so extreme. One sister is extremely beautiful while the other is apparently very unattractive. The crimes were over the top and the lack of investigation into the crimes was laughable.
I am looking forward to reading Oyinkan Braithwaite's future writing.
Top reviews from other countries
There is a freshness to the piece. There is nothing obvious about the plot. The characters are well rounded and treated with respect. The Sisterly relationship is just perfect. There are some interesting choices in chapter length which I think work well and the style is suitably economical and spare for a piece of Noir. It is what I call genre+ where a writer takes genre structures and uses them as a springboard for something that bit elevated.
I loved Korede and loved the way she was drawn down into a moral quagmire by Braithwaite. All the external motivations and internal motivations lead inexorably to a satisfying conclusion. Where I have my only note of criticism, I think the ending could have been written into a little more. I like it, I just think it needed to be expanded a little more.
This is the perfect book to be turned into a movie, and Working Title have already bought the option. I just hope they do it justice because this could be such a good movie.
The voice of the book is Korede’s, elder sister to Ayoola, the former a hospital nurse, tall, angular and not pretty (as she tells us), the latter an exquisitely beautiful wild child, utterly devastating, self centred and lacking any right-wrong moral sense. There is a mother but the father is ten years dead, though he looms back into Korede’s present; he was a domestic tyrant of absolutely the worst kind.
I don’t do spoilers but it suffices that the title announces the novel for what it is, but how it unfolds shows the young author to be a very bright star in the sky. The chapters are many and short, some a single paragraph, a page, max four – we should call them ‘scenes’. Each is headed by a word, usually one word, which signals the intent of the scene.
The story has two locations: home for the family, a compound in Lagos in a large house, and the hospital where Korede works and where she moons and swoons over a handsome doctor who barely acknowledges her. OB’s writing has that wonderful thing where I felt transported to this part of West Africa. When Ayoola waltzes in one day at her sister’s place of work to ‘Take you to lunch’ (no, it is a kind of spying), the handsome doctor sees the sister and the amorous fireworks start. Korede also has a confessor, a patient in a coma whom she visits, sits with and pours out her sister’s doings. Of course, there is a consequence to this that you can probably guess.
This is also a book with Nigerian culture stitched into it. People routinely, it seems tell lies, use astonishing verbal and mental juggling to turn black into white and guilt into innocence, the dexterity and virtuosity of which makes Donald Trump look like a beginner - and corruption is everywhere. Also the marriage plotting and scheming of the sisters’ mother is not a million miles from Jewish mothers in NYC. There is a fearsome patriarchy and where women are treated badly: make that very badly. There are Nigerian words, some in the alphabet I am using, others in a strange mix of letters with accent markings that are probably Yoruba – and I would have liked an end of book glossary – there is appreciable cooking and, well, I wanted to know what they were eating.
It is a terrific read. OB suffered terrible writer’s block (see article, The Guardian, 15 Jan) and wrote MSTSK in a kind of desperation (hey girl, feel your pain, we’ve all been there).
But I cannot give the fifth star, because of the ending. It is unsatisfying, ambiguous and for such a gifted young writer a bit lazy. Her editors should have known better, but perhaps they were thinking of a sequel – please, no – the story does not have the legs for it.
Now: buy it!
You're not supposed to like or take the side of a serial killer - and by God, I didn't! Ayoola is beautiful, seems to be bláse about everything, and a psychopathic killer. She gets her sister, Korede, to clean up after her. I'm torn between Ayoola playing a game or just showing her true nature. I don't think she's that intelligent to play a game, but I could be wrong. Korede's only 'therapy' comes in the form of a dying man in a coma. Well, he's not going to tell anyone, is he?
This would be a fantastic tale for a book club to discuss. It seems a simplistic story, however it is not. It is chock full of questions. Some of which are: the roles women play in Nigeria; the roles of older and younger sisters; is anyone in this book real?; why is Ayoola killing men?; is blood thicker than water, is that why Korede backs her sister completely?
Sharp, shocking, intelligent, and a definite page-turner.
I dont remember it being particularly funny, certainly not laugh out loud. The tension was minimal and there are basically no murders in the pages.
The near lack of action leads you building up to the last pages thinking its all happening now, its all coming to a head and the action is about to happen when it just ends. It just bloody ends. Its not a cliffhanger its not a twist, theres no resolution it just stops. I wouldnt accept such a mild ending at the end of an episode of Coronation Street.
It’s built to be a corker and was in all just disappointing
The topics are pretty serious but overall, this is an entertaining story, well written. I definitely recommend it!