Five words from the blurb: polygamous, family, wives, children, Nigerian
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is set in Nigeria and gives an insight into the problems faced by women within a polygamous marriage. In a series of interwoven narratives the book tells the story of the four women married to Baba Segi, a rich patriarch. We see the strict hierarchy that exists within the family and the wives’ struggle to conceive the children that their husband demands.
The book was very easy to read – the text flowed simply and quickly. There were many humourous sections and the book retained a light tone throughout, despite some darker moments.
I loved seeing the relationships within the family change with the addition of each new wife and it was really interesting to see things from the perspective of each woman.
My only complaint is that there was very little description of their surroundings. By the end of the book I felt I knew the wives really well, but I couldn’t picture their house or village at all.
Overall this was a wonderfully entertaining novel that raised many important issues. Recommended.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
….a startling but beautiful evocation of a Nigerian woman’s inner world. Lotus Reads
The author set out to expose the ugliness of polygamy. And she does achieve this but it comes at a cost to her characters. Kinna Reads
I found myself laughing out loud at some of the episodes in the book. CardiganGirlVerity
My faith in the Orange Prize has returned. I wouldn’t have come across this book if it hadn’t been longlisted for the Orange Prize and I am very pleased that I read it. I hope my next Orange is just as rewarding.