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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the 2018 Dylan Thomas Prize
Longlisted for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize

There are things even love can't do....

If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But even when it's in thousands of pieces around your feet, that doesn't mean it's no longer love....

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything - arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, dances with prophets, appeals to God. But when her in-laws insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of '80s Nigeria, Stay with Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

©2017 Ayobami Adebayo (P)2017 Canongate Books

Critic Reviews

"Scorching, gripping, ultimately lovely." (Margaret Atwood)
"This terrific first novel (shortlisted for the Baileys women's prize for fiction) deals with the daily stresses of living with the political upheavals of the time but the real drama is happening in Yejide's womb. Adebayo unfolds the many layers of truth with insight and skill." (The Times)
"A thoroughly contemporary style that is all her own...clever and funny...despite the intense sadness of her subject matter, she has produced a bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride." (Guardian)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Jaw dropper

Seemed like a Nollywood movie for a moment there. Dancing on a mountain with traditional priests until she believed she was pregnant! For 11 months her belly was distended!!!
But the twist that follows is a more interesting one. Performance is incredible! Adjoa Andoh has outdone herself in this book. I've listened to her perform Americanah which was average. In Ghana Must Go, she does a little better, but here, this is the best I've heard her yet.

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Strong debut!

This novel has been on my to-read list since it was released and I'm so glad to have been able to get an Audible experience. Ayobami

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  • Linn
  • 03-13-17

Beautiful realism

This is a very beautifully written story about an issue which is still very real and taboo in Nigeria, causing many women to suffer unnecessarily. I couldn't put the book down. Adjoa Andoh is one of my favourite narrators and she didn't disappoint. Good, but not perfect attempts at Yoruba, but she still made it sound like she knew it well. This book left tears in my eyes.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Tessa Saunders
  • 07-04-17

Beautiful story

I am so glad that I found this wonderful book. The story took me from a place where I was crying with laughter to being filled with sadness as each of the main characters' back stories were revealed. The structure and pacing were well suited to the story being shared. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Thank you Audible for producing this story the narrator really brought the characters to life and I will listen to more books narrated by her.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • bookylady
  • 04-25-17

A moving portrait of motherhood & family life

Any additional comments?

This story, set in 1980s Nigeria, was a slow-burner for me. I nearly gave up on it in the first few chapters because it reminded me of other novels set in Nigeria. But I'm so glad I stuck with it because it blossomed into a powerful portrayal of the pressures women face from family, society, tradition and their own biological make-up, to have children. It also addresses the painful reality and grief surrounding infertility, impotence and the trauma of losing babies/young children to illness.

The plot was well conceived and executed, giving weight to both the mother and the father's side of the story. The bittersweet ending was very well planned and helped to turn a tragic tale into one of hope for the future. The characters were many and varied and the author managed to introduce some humour (as well as horror) into a story that left me feeling sad and thoughtful.

The narration was excellent, full of light and dark tones and beautiful expression.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Tola
  • 05-30-17

Good first novel!

Ms. Andoh is the best voice for the job. She's even gotten a lot better with her Nigerian pronunciations.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • T
  • 07-25-17

Stunning

I loved listening to this book. I particularly enjoyed the folktales/fairytales told throughout the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • CHARLOTTE GREGORY
  • 05-06-17

I really loved it.

A powerful narrative, with compelling revelations by lead characters. A superb debut presenting Nigeria sympathetically.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Janette O'Hanlon
  • 07-03-18

The good Nigerian wife

good story of tolerances of Nigerian culture. real sadness and humour. really enjoyed this book

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  • Miss
  • 06-22-18

Wow that was Something!

First of all -- I agree with many other reviewers about Adjoa Andoh's pronunciations of Nigerian terms/names being borderline hilarious especially in the ears of a Yoruba Nigerian.

If however you can get past that, it is an amazing audio book! Well written detailed and just amazing.

I laughed, was close to tears, got angry, sad, and sometimes wished I could just slap one or two of the characters to their senses!.

You can't deny also that despite her failed attempt at pronouncing many yoruba words accurately, Ajoa Andoh is an AMAZING VOICE ACTOR. She did it so well, carrying the reader along with the emotions page after page.

Kudos Ayobami!!! I look forward to your future books.

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  • Ms T
  • 06-17-18

A powerful story

This book is a wonderfully heart-wrenching look into a Nigerian couple’s struggle with infertility, male dominance, female power, tradition and modernity. With shocking revelations in abundance and a breakdown of communication leading to years of loss and regret, Adebayo weaves a story that is easy to invest in and difficult to draw away from. A skilful debut novel with impeccable narration. Highly recommended.

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  • Janelle
  • 05-23-18

4.5 stars

Very well written and performed. Caused me to think about what would happen to my own relationship in the face of infertility, the death of a child or extreme sickness of a child.

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  • Marion
  • 01-20-18

emotional rollercoaster

loved the different male/female perspectives as the story unravelled and loved the narrative and accent