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The Secret Lives of the Four Wives: A Novel Paperback – July 5, 2011
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From the Back Cover
"I didn't just happen upon this room; I dreamed of the pale green walls before I arrived."
Attempting to rise above the secrets of her past, Bolanle, a university graduate, marries Baba Segi, who promises her everything in exchange for agreeing to become his fourth wife. Thus she enters into a polygamous world filled with expensive clothes, a generous monthly allowance . . . and three Segi wives who disapprove of the newest, youngest, most educated addition to the family. There's Iya Femi, a fiery vixen with a taste for money; Iya Tope, a shy woman whose kindness is eclipsed by terror; and Iya Segi, the first, most lethal, and merciless of them all.
Bolanle quickly becomes Baba Segi's prized possession . . . until her very presence unlocks a secret that the other wives have long since guarded, and unleashing it could change life as they know it.
About the Author
Lola Shoneyin's work includes three books of poems: So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg (1997), Song of a Riverbird (2002) and For the Love of Flight (2010) and two children's books: Mayowa and the Masquerades (2010) and Iyaji, the Housegirl (2014). Her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives (2010), was long-listed for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and won the PEN Oakland 2011 Josephine Miles Literary Award. After teaching both in Nigeria and abroad for many years, Shoneyin now lives in Lagos, Nigeria and organises the Ake Arts and Book Festival.
Top customer reviews
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The book maybe should have been as two books and the chapters and character longer. The death of one character was never mentioned so I was left hanging about the poisoning. I didn’t like the unfinished-ness about the book.
Im not sure why it was highly rated? The last few chapters were the best I thought. I gave three stars because of the last chapters.
I was transported to Nigeria. Each wife story touched my heart. I always thought women who chose to be with a polygamist
Where foolish. I changed my mind. This book thought me that they are intelligent, cunning, kind and at time wicked.
A good read.
Each character had a voice and unique POV (point of view). This can be risky but Lola Shoneyin pulled it off quite well. Polygamy is also not an easy subject to write about but she did an excellent job. "Teacher" had me writhing on the floor with the usual way he transposed his sayings such as "Skelter-helter" or "As long as there is hope, there is life."
Not many people can write in this fashion. It sounded like music to my ears; like poetry but better. I believe she can swing a sequel by following Bolanle's life. I won't say any more so as not to divulge the end of the story.
Lola Shoneyin is going places already and is here to stay. I want to write like her when I grow up!