His Only Wife Kindle Edition
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'This fierce young woman's struggle for independence in a city that is way out of step with the time-honoured traditions of the rural village in which she grew up is vivid, witty and utterly absorbing.' (Daily Mail )
'I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast... It's all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.' (Reese Witherspoon )
'Mesmerising... This is not a book to read with one eye on a beach volleyball tournament; it’s a story to soak up in silence, on a long, cloudy afternoon when you have time to think.' (New York Times)
'With characters making questionable decisions and a rather brilliant ending, this is a good old-fashion book club read that'll leave you arguing about character motivations and morals.' (Stylist )
'A Cinderella story set in Ghana... A Crazy Rich Asians for West Africa, with a healthy splash of feminism.' (Kirkus (starred review))
'Bursting with warmth, humour and richly drawn characters you can’t help but root for.' (Cosmopolitan )
'A hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut.' (Wayetu Moore, author of She Would Be King)
'I couldn't put down His Only Wife, which made me nostalgic for the food, frills, and folly of Ghana. Peace Adzo Medie's sentences are packed with muscle, beauty, and hilarity. Even though I was rooting for Afi's happiness in her arranged marriage, I didn’t see that beauty of a twist coming at the end.' (Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of The Deep Blue Between )
'In her debut novel, Medie writes with a precise rhythm that builds the reader’s anticipation. Themes like deception, ambition, love, and values drench the pages with conflict that evolves into an emotional rollercoaster.' (Booklist)
'This stirring tale sings when Afi learns to flex her limited power.' (Publishers Weekly)
'Afi's charm makes her an empowering example of modern womanhood... Its message bold and its viewpoint appealing, His Only Wife is an inspiring novel.' (Foreword Reviews)
'Medie gives Afi a voice that winningly combines insecurity, wisdom and dignity... The dramas of Afi's marriage and various family conflicts offer an entertaining plot rich with humour, but it is the story of the strong woman in a challenging and changing world that will capture readers' hearts. His Only Wife is a memorable novel of personal growth and choosing one's own destiny... [A] winning debut.' (Shelf Awareness)
'A fierce and funny debut novel... A deeply engrossing chronicle of contemporary Ghanaian womanhood.' (Minneapolis Star Tribune )
'A fierce and funny first novel...[that] cleverly upends a Cinderella story into a tale of feminism.' (People )
'A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose... Medie depicts a vivid and dazzling Accra, and it's impossible not to root for Afi as she finds her footing within it.' (BuzzFeed )
'In her sparkling debut novel, Ghanaian writer and academic Peace Adzo Medie uses humour, candour and feminism to examine womanhood, marriage and agency in modern Ghana.' (Ms. Magazine )
'A witty Cinderella portrait of modern life and love.' (Parade )
'A unique and unapologetic marriage story that shines with honesty, humanity, power and grace: once you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down. Medie's urgent, intimate voice is exactly what the world needs right now.' (Mathangi Subramanian, author of A People's History of Heaven )
'Combining heart and humour with a hearty dose of feminism, Peace Adzo Medie's debut is an illuminating and empowering read with a heroine you will remember for a long time.' (Book Reporter )
'A fierce and funny study of modern womanhood within Ghanaian culture.' (Cosmopolitan: Best Books of Autumn, 2020 )
'Medie belongs to a long line of talented women writers who show [Ghana's] rich culture and history to be bountiful sources of inspiration.' (Book Browse )
'This rich, rewarding debut novel follows a Ghanaian seamstress — forced into an arranged marriage with a wealthy man she has never met — on her journey of self-discovery.' (New York Times, Notable Books of 2020 )
'A refreshingly modern Ghanaian love story.' (Marie Claire )
'[A] witty riff on the Cinderella fairytale.' (Sainsbury's Magazine )
'Engaging, provocative... There is an easy, fluid style to the writing, quick intimacy with character and a kind of innocent humour… Throughout the book there are bright daubs of Ghanaian life… It all flows remarkably well in a memorable debut from a writer whose frustrations with certain aspects of the culture of her homeland come brilliantly to life.' (Irish Times )
'A young Ghanaian woman embarks on a questionable marriage in this entertaining comedy of manners.' (i, '30 great books for Easter' )
'If you are looking to escape to another country, take a trip to Ghana with His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie... Throughout the novel there are mouthwatering descriptions of yam stews, bustling markets and beautiful homes and apartments in Accra, but best of all it's all underpinned by a warm coming-of-age-tale mixed in with a subtle takedown of the patriarchy. If that doesn't convince you, it's also a Reese Witherspoon pick for her book club.' (The Sunday Times (South Africa) )--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B08519J6BC
- Publisher : Algonquin Books (September 1, 2020)
- Publication date : September 1, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 2588 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 285 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,998 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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When the matriarch of a very powerful and rich Ghanaian family arranges for Afi to be married to her son Eli, Afi has no choice but to agree. It's the way to improve her and her mother's situation in life. So she is married by proxy (Eli's brother Richard stands in for him at the traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony) and then is sent off to the big city (Accra) to live in a luxurious apartment where she is somewhat overwhelmed by her new modern life. A new life without a husband in it since Eli does not show himself for several months.
It turns out that Eli is in love, but not with her. He has had a Liberian mistress for several years and only married Afi because of pressure put on him by his dysfunctional family, who do not like his mistress and will not allow him to marry her. He and his mistress and their daughter live in his primary residence. As Afi becomes more and more aware of her new life and situation, she realizes that things aren't the way they should be.
The mistress remains somewhat of an unknown throughout the story. Eli, who finally does visit Afi and even becomes a part-time husband to her, refuses to talk about his situation or the woman. The only information Afi gets is from Eli's family, who are hostile to the woman and give Afi only disinformation and misinformation about the woman and Eli's relationship to her. The woman is ugly and horrid. Just be patient. Give Eli time. He will give her up and be devoted only to you.
But this book is more than a story about Afi's marriage to Eli. It's the story of an unsophisticated, naive village girl coming into her own in the big city. In Accra Afi goes to fashion design school. She learns to stand up for herself. She becomes a career woman. She makes a good friend in the woman living in the apartment across the hall from hers, a woman who just happens to be the mistress of Eli's brother Richard. And she finally learns the truth about where she stands in her marriage.
This is very readable and enjoyable and educational. I learned a good deal about life and traditions and customs in Ghana. How different some things are from life in the U.S. But it was also obvious from the reading that people and love are basically the same in both countries.
"Afi grows up" could be the theme of this story which revolves around her and mainly lets us know her thoughts and feelings. Eli remains a handsome, usually pleasant, entity whose thoughts and feelings are never divulged. The other woman is a total mystery until the very end. And if you're looking for a 100% HEA to this Ghanaian "romance," you won't find it, but the ending is understandable and satisfactory.
His Only Wife is a coming of age story-Afi grows up a lot throughout her marriage. It’s a story of values-modern vs. traditional. It’s a feminist story about independent women.
His Only Wife is set in Africa but it could have been set in the US, or just about anywhere in the world. At its heart, it’s about love and deciding what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to love.
I listened to this book on audio and read it in hard copy. I really enjoyed the narrator as she read the story. Thank you to #netgalley and #algonquinbooks for the audiobook to listen to in exchange for an honest review of #hisonlywife.
From there on, the story takes on a Rebecca like tone because her husband, Eli, is seeing another woman. A woman from Liberia that none of the family likes. Her husband's family hopes Afi will be enough to lure their son back to the path of filial obedience and righteousness, but this other woman's presence overshadows every aspect of the household and takes on a sort of "shadow self" presence as Afi hears about her from acquaintances, family members, and friends of her husband who have met this mysterious "Muna."
This was a really interesting portrait of African family life and values, and how a woman might realistically go about overturning societal expectations. In some ways, it reminded me of another work of feminist African literature, A GIRL IS A BODY OF WATER. Like this story, the ending was more bittersweet than fascinating, but both feature protagonists who are allowed to be flawed, complete women on their own terms, even when they are unlikable or difficult. I loved that.
I'm giving this a three because the middle section of the story was a bit of a slog. I loved the set-up and the many faux-pas Afi committed in her rags-to-riches journey (such as the uncertainty a buffet of unfamiliar foods might bring and throwing her weight around with the help to assert authority) and I thought the ending was an interesting twist and subversion of the usual OW plot, but the middle section definitely lost steam a bit along the way and I did find myself skimming a bit. It's still a really interesting story and I loved the Ghanaian setting and domestic drama elements of it.
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars
Top reviews from other countries
As an aside I really enjoyed her relationship with Evelyn. She was a true friend. The only person to really tell it like it is and had her best interest at heart.
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 25, 2021
Follow me on IG: @jotheblackbookworm for more reviews