The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
Serpent’s Tail; 256 pp; £10.99 ISBN 978-1-84668-7488
The back cover quotes include the following “… evokes an extraordinary Nigerian family in splashes of colour”.
This is a typical line for anything that is based on the Mother continent of Africa. The amazing core of this publication is that it tells of the power of women, even when they verge on the edge of stupidity, born out of their circumstance. It highlights the female capacity to survive and, in spite of bruises and scars, to endure until they find their own position in life.
I have never been “back home” to my father’s Nigeria but now I have a far clearer insight into a type of family life that no modern day woman should wish to live.
The book isn’t a romance, but love and the lack of it fills every page. Shoneyin doesn’t simply weave a tale - she gives her characters voices so that even the men, with all their flaws, evoke our emotions.