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The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 29, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 943 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blind acceptance splinters a polygamous marriage in Shoneyin's gripping debut set in modern-day Nigeria. Bolanle Alao, the newest and youngest of Baba Segi's wives, threatens to upset the balance of power--she is educated and beautiful, though naïve about the relationship dynamics among the other three wives in the house. Raped at 15, Bolanle considers herself disgraced and unwanted until Baba Segi, an overweight, malodorous businessman welcomes her into his family, no questions asked, until it seems she cannot conceive. Like the other wives, she feels she has been saved by Baba Segi, who accepts all of them politely, but beyond brief mentions of his sexual encounters and visits to the toilet, Baba Segi is a peripheral character. When greedy Iya Segi and Iya Femi plot to run young, sweet Bolanle out of the family, the result is disaster. It is Bolanle's unexpected submissiveness that leads her and her husband to uncover a secret that forces him to assert his control over the family. Shoneyin masterfully disentangles four distinct stories, only to subtly expose what is common among them.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

When Baba Segi awoke with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife's childlessness.

Meet Baba Segi . . .

A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing.

And his wives . . .

Iya Segi—the bride of Baba Segi's youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband's home.

Iya Tope—Baba Segi's second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear.

Iya Femi—the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost.

Bolanle—Babi Segi's fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life's misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives . . . and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow; 1st edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0061946370
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0061946370
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 0.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5 x 0.97 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 943 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
943 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

ShaiLDN
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2020
All I can say is WOW! I decided to take up reading to help me stay productive through quarantine, and I was looking for something relatable and close to home and I must say this book was EXCELLENT! The way in which it was written, the characters were very spot on.

Bolanle the forth wife was a character I really liked and at times felt pity for, she was portrayed well due to her being a younger wife and the last at that.

This book spoke to me deeply, because as a young British Nigerian woman, I know and understand the struggles of the Alao family.

What this family passed through is something that still happens today although to a small degree, in some parts of Nigeria or in Nigerian families scattered across the globe.

I was sad for it to end. This is a very cherished book and one that I would recommend to others especially if you are of Nigerian origin.

This book took me to Nigeria and back, I felt like I was there. It also contains very clever adult humour.

I love this book and I look forward to more reads from the author.

💕✨
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7 people found this helpful
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dalgleish
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating characters.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2020
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Boris
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this from cover to cover without stopping - couldn't even put it down to cook, sleep or have a bath
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 4, 2015
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jo comfortable
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story and well written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2019
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Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 8, 2014
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