About the book…
Genre: Fiction – Drama
Meet the man of the house: plump and prosperous, he has seven children, but his desire for more might just be his undoing. Then we have the wives: the first will stop at nothing to rule the house, the second is shy and timid – her life is shadowed by fear, the third is a schemer with crimson lips and expensive taste while the fourth has the power to unmask them all though she does not know it.
I rated this book as a five-star read even before I got to the end of the story. That is simply how good it was.
Lola Shoneyin skillfully brought to life a fantastic tale showing the merging of the traditionalism engrained in African culture and the apparent moderns brought about by the enlightening power of education.
The story focuses on Baba Segi, a successful African man who takes pride in his large family and his ability to comfortably take care of it. When he gets the chance to marry a young and educated wife, he takes it without a second thought as he knows his peers will be envious of him. But the addition of this fourth wife turns out to be the undoing of Baba Segi and his household. He soon realizes that an educated wife means trouble.
Full of humorous drama, this novel tells the tale of four women – bound together by a marriage that acts as a solace against the heavy weight of their individual pasts. These wives share one damning secret and it is imperative that Baba Segi does not find it out. The path that the book takes to lead the reader to this secret is one full of thrill, suspense, laughter and sorrow.
The book is fast paced and highly entertaining. Do not be surprised if you read it in one sitting.
About the author…
Lola Shoneyin is a Nigerian poet and author who launched her debut novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, in the UK in May 2010. Shoneyin has forged a reputation as an adventurous, humorous and outspoken poet (often classed in the feminist mould), having published three volumes of poetry. In 2017, she was named African Literary Person of the Year by Brittle Paper.