Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo is a novel that tells the story of Yejide who 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. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me is a story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the power of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about the desperate attempts we make to save ourselves, and those we love, from heartbreak. In this article, you will be able to download stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo as well as do the following:
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Summary of stay with me by Ayobami pdf Adebayo
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. Ilesa, Nigeria. Ever since they first met and fell in love at university, Yejide and Akin have agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage—after consulting fertility doctors and healers, and trying strange teas and unlikely cures—Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time—until her in-laws arrive on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does—but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine.
The unforgettable story of a marriage as seen through the eyes of both husband and wife, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.
About the author Stay With Me pdf – Ayobami Adebayo
Ayobami Adebayo’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, and has worked as an editor for Saraba Magazine since 2009. Adebayo also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. She has received fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-Bow School of Art, Ebedi Hills and the Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria. You can reach Ayobami Adebayo at www.ayobamiadebayo.com
Information about the book (Amazon)
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (July 10, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1101974419
- ISBN-13 : 978-1101974414
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #67,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars 1,963 ratings
Excerpt from Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
© Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
JOS, DECEMBER 2008
I must leave this city today and come to you. My bags are packed and the empty rooms remind me that I should have left a week ago. Musa, my driver, has slept at the security guard’s post every night since last Friday, waiting for me to wake him up at dawn so we can set out on time. But my bags still sit in the living room, gathering dust. I have given most of what I acquired here—furniture, electronic devices, even house fittings—to the stylists who worked in my salon. So, every night for a week now, I’ve tossed about on this bed without a television to shorten my insomniac hours.
There’s a house waiting for me in Ife, right outside the university where you and I first met. I imagine it now, a house not unlike this one, its many rooms designed to nurture a big family: man, wife and many children. I was supposed to leave a day after my hair dryers were taken down. The plan was to spend a week setting up my new salon and furnishing the house. I wanted my new life in place before seeing you again. It’s not that I’ve become attached to this place. I will not miss the few friends I made, the people who do not know the woman I was before I came here, the men who over the years have thought they were in love with me. Once I leave, I probably won’t even remember the one who asked me to be his wife. Nobody here knows I’m still married to you. I only tell them a slice of the story: I was barren and my husband took another wife. No one has ever probed further, so I’ve never told them about my children.
I have wanted to leave since the three corpers in the National Youth Service programme were killed. I decided to shut down my salon and the jewellery shop before I even knew what I would do next, before the invitation to your father’s funeral arrived like a map to show me the way. I have memorised the three young men’s names and I know what each one studied at the university. My Olamide would have been about their age; she too would just have been leaving university about now. When I read about them, I think of her. Akin, I often wonder if you think about her too.
Although sleep stays away, every night I shut my eyes and pieces of the life I left behind come back to me. I see the batik pillowcases in our bedroom, our neighbours and your family which, for a misguided period, I thought was also mine. I see you. Tonight I see the bedside lamp you gave me a few weeks after we got married. I could not sleep in the dark and you had nightmares if we left the fluorescent lights on. That lamp was your solution. You bought it without telling me you’d come up with a compromise, without asking me if I wanted a lamp. And as I stroked its bronze base and admired the tinted glass panels that formed its shade, you asked me what I would take out of the building if our house was burning. I didn’t think about it before saying, Our baby, even though we did not have children yet. Something, you said, not someone. But you seemed a little hurt that, when I thought it was someone, I did not consider rescuing you.
I drag myself out of bed and change out of my nightgown. I will not waste another minute. The questions you must answer, the ones I’ve choked on for over a decade, quicken my steps as I grab my handbag and go into the living room. There are seventeen bags here, ready to be carried into my car. I stare at the bags, recalling the contents of each one. If this house was on fire, what would I take? I have to think about this because the first thing that occurs to me is nothing. I choose the overnight bag I’d planned to bring with me for the funeral and a leather pouch filled with gold jewellery. Musa can bring the rest of the bags to me another time.
This is it then—fifteen years here and, though my house is not on fire, all I’m taking is a bag of gold and a change of clothes. The things that matter are inside me, locked up below my breast as though in a grave, a place of permanence, my coffin-like treasure chest. I step outside. The air is freezing and the black sky is turning purple in the horizon as the sun ascends. Musa is leaning against the car, cleaning his teeth with a stick. He spits into a cup as I approach and puts the chewing stick in his breast pocket. He opens the car door, we exchange greetings and I climb into the back seat. Musa switches on the car radio and searches for stations. He settles for one that is starting the day’s broadcast with a recording of the national anthem. The security guard waves goodbye as we drive out of the compound. The road stretches before us, shrouded in a darkness transitioning into dawn as it leads me back to you.
Notable literary nominations for Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo is a great novel that has been nominated and shortlisted for various international literary awards and recognitions. Below are are some of them:
A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Chicago Tribune, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Post, Southern Living, The Skimm
A 2017 BEA Buzz Panel Selection
A Belletrist Book-of-the-Month
A Sarah Jessica Parker Book Club Selection
Shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize and the 9mobile Prize for Literature
Longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize
Where to buy Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo online
You can easily buy this great literary work of fiction by one of Nigerian young writers titled Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo from the following sites:
Read reviews on Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
Editorial reviews and praise for the book
“Powerfully magnetic. . . . In the lineage of great works by Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. . . . A thoroughly contemporary—and deeply moving—portrait of a marriage.” —The New York Times Book Review
“An absolute must-read and a story that will be shared for many decades to come.” —Emma Roberts, Refinery29
“[A] stunning literary work [that] serves as both astute political commentary and unfolding mystery.” —NPR
“Scorching, gripping, ultimately lovely.” —Margaret Atwood, Twitter
“Powerful storytelling. . . . The story is ancient, but Adebayo imbues it with a vibrant, contemporary spirit.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Wise and deeply humane. . . . A powerfully affecting tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal.” —Sarah Jessica Parker
“Stay With Me feels like a genre unto itself—a story that illustrates the necessity of hope and equality, but one that doesn’t water down the challenges of realizing them.” —Vogue
“A triumph—a complex, deeply felt exploration of love, marriage and family amid cultural and political upheaval.” —Chicago Tribune
“A debut that marks the beginning of what should be a stunning career.” —Goop
“Gorgeous. . . . Filled with big-hearted feelings and all kinds of female strength.” —Bustle
“[A] phenomenal novel. . . . Beautiful. . . . A layered story of love, sacrifice and hope . . . Adebayo’s debut is undoubtedly one of the best reads of this year.” —Essence
“A kind of addictive African soap opera, set against the political chaos of Nigeria in the 1980s.” —People
“A gut-wrenching tale of how wanting a child can wreck a woman, a marriage and a community. . . . Adebayo is surely a writer to watch.” —The Economist
“Forcefully affecting. . . . Adebayo’s compassionate chronicle of a fraught marriage speaks to broader national fears, making this family drama feel like an epic.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Heartbreaking. . . . A story of complicated love teetering between tradition and modernity.” —W Magazine
“A work of intimate yet powerful—and even, at times, shocking—storytelling that will . . . make your world bigger.” —Elle
“A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride.” —The Guardian
“With lyrical prose, Adebayo explores how far a woman will go to save her marriage.” —Real Simple
“A heartbreakingly beautiful story about love, marriage, and expectation.” —Southern Living
“Adebayo’s prose is a pleasure: immediate, unpretentious and flecked with whip-smart Nigerian-English dialogue.” —The Sunday Times (London)
Community readers reviews for stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
If you told me that I’d love being on top of the Mountain of Jaw-Dropping Miracles, I would have told you that you were nuts! Miracles are right up there with ghosts—I don’t like them to sully my beloved story. But man, there I was, my feet glued to the ground, my jaw dropping, like the mountain expected. I couldn’t have run if I wanted to. And I couldn’t have looked away. Because really, I was witnessing one of the weirdest (and sort of grossest) scenes I’ve ever seen. It’s also a funny scene, probably the only comic moment in a book that has a lot of tragedy. I had to reread the scene because I just didn’t believe what was happening. I will say no more. You must read it. Like sneakers in a dryer, the bizarro scene got my attention. But it isn’t a huge part of the story. The novel is about a Nigerian couple, Yejide and Akin, who want children. Sounds innocent enough, right? What happens surrounding this “want” is all twisty secrets, delusions, lies, and grief. Add gossip, superstition, jealousy, and plenty of tragedy and you get the idea.
I get so squirmy happy when I think of this book! The story is as close to perfection as you get. A class act. Yes, this is a quadruple WOW, with tears flowing as the story ends. (Believe me, it takes a lot to turn me into a crybaby reader.) It’s one big Joy Jar. It’s heavy on the drama, and there’s this freshness to the drama and the dialogue, with unusual plot turns that kept me riveted.
The author keeps her eye on the ball. She doesn’t try too hard and she doesn’t blabber. No question, she had me at hello. I did not want the story to end. And I can’t seem to stop gushing.
Yejide and Akin have a great marriage, and they both are sophisticated, educated, and modern. The parents and other extended family members, however, are steeped in tradition, which includes polygamy, and they are bossy. No, they aren’t just bossy. They obnoxiously push their agenda onto Yejide and Akin, and the havoc begins.
I loved getting a peek of Nigerian culture, which I know nothing about. And we get to see a tiny bit of the political climate—elections and coups and violence, which take place in the background. I think one of the points is that life in Nigeria is marked by political turmoil, and it’s impossible to ignore. Yet, everyday life goes on. People incorporate the political goings-on and adapt to them. The contrast between daily life and the big scary political happenings in the background is shown beautifully. But I need to point out that the book is not heavy into politics, and thankfully, there isn’t a political message. I don’t like politics or messages, so believe me when I say that the political scene is not front and center.
There’s not much descriptive text—it’s all drama and dialogue—which is what I prefer anyway. I get so tired of hearing about beauteous leaves. Give me talk, and give me fire. And that’s what I got here.
The story is well-told—straightforward and tight—with intriguing, flawed characters. It’s told in first person (which I love), and Yejide and Akin have alternating chapters. This works especially well when there are secrets, and there definitely are secrets. There are two time periods, but it never gets confusing. The voices and time periods are interwoven perfectly.
It’s magic the way the author made me care about what happened to Yejide and Akin. The author’s art is gorgeously sneaky; I can’t quite put my finger on why it had the power to pull me into the story so completely, but believe me, it did. There were a few fairy tales, which usually bore me to tears and interrupt the story and generally make me furious. The fact that I accepted—no, that I actually enjoyed the fairy tales—tells you just how hooked I was. This may be an exaggeration because I am so in love with the book, but the content seemed a little Shakespearean.
About the cover: I LOVE the red and purple abstract cover. She who usually couldn’t care less about covers. It is so appealing, so exuberant, it’s like it matches the beauteous content hidden under it. I’ve never ever thought of a cover and the story being matchy matchy, but that’s what I think of here. It’s like I’m wearing this richly colored outfit, with cool textures, that makes me twitchy with glee. And then I dye my hair some complementary color and add exotic jewelry with other complementary colors and textures, and then I have this whole look of richness that makes me feel gooooood. I read this book on a Kindle, but I absolutely have to buy the book so that I can stare at the gorgeous cover (knowing that within lies matching beauty), and swoon to my heart’s content.
The sign of a good story is that it takes you away to another world and you want to stay there. Reality takes a back seat. Well, that’s what happened here. I can’t stop thinking about this book! It’s in a three-way tie for my favorite novel of the year. The fact that this is a debut and the writer is in her 20s just blows my mind.
The author didn’t have to say Stay with Me because there was no question I was staying: I was glued to the page. It would be more accurate for me to be the one saying Stay with Me. Write another book please. Stay with Me.
I’m never quite sure what has me rate a book 5 stars. I rarely do so. I think I save my 5 stars for books that have me fully intellectually and emotionally engaged. Stay With Me was that kind of reading experience. Set in Nigeria between the mid 1980s and 2008, Stay With Me is about the tortuous relationship between Yejide and Akin, and their heartbreaking road to parenthood. I don’t want to say too much about the story because it’s best to experience its emotional punch as it unfolds but here are some of the things I loved about Stay With Me:
-I loved the portrayal of Yejide. No one will agree with all of her decisions but Adebayo has created a character that felt so real. The consequences of losing her mother at birth are perfectly woven into this angry, aching and intelligent character.
-There is a lot of love in this book, but it is love between humans. So it comes at a price including bad decisions made out of love, silence where speaking is needed and avoidance because of the fear of loss.
-I loved the portrayal of contemporary Nigeria. As someone who knows relatively little about Nigeria, this book gave me a strong sense of the interplay of traditional culture, modernity and political unrest. Yejide and Akin are university educated and relatively well to do. Yejide runs her own hair salon and Akin works for a bank. Yet they both come from traditional polygamous families, and there is much pressure on Akin to take on a second wife — something Yejide vehemently opposes.
-Although Stay With Me is relatively short, a lot happens in this story and much of it is unexpected. This is not a story with a typical narrative arc but it is carefully and beautifully constructed.
-Adebayo treads intelligently on morally charged territory.
-And the ending — yikes — had me weepy. I loved it. I highly recommend it. Although I suspect that many will struggle with many of Yejide and Akin’s choices and actions.
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2017
Be forewarned – Stay With Me is one of the saddest books I have read in a long time. It is not at all what you might expect, and there are many surprising plot turns. At times the main character Yejide’s pain was so excruciating, I was not sure if I could continue. Like Yejide, though, I did and it was worth it. One minor criticism is that the author tells her story from alternating points of view but does not indicate at the beginning of a chapter that the narrator has changed. It creates unnecessary confusion for a few paragraphs each time there is a shifting point of view. The story is good enough without this confusing style. This is an emotional book about marriage, motherhood, family ties and the power of tradition in our lives. I highly recommend it.
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2018
Stay With Me is a devastating story about a Nigerian couple’s longing to have children, and the lengths to which they go to make that happen.
Yejide and Akin have been trying to get pregnant for years. In their culture, there’s immense pressure from their families to have children, and though they have deliberately avoided polygamy, the time finally comes for Akin to take on a second wife. This initiates a series of tragic events for Yejide and Akin, particularly when Yejide finally gets pregnant.
There are many layers to this story, which is told from both Yejide’s and Akin’s perspectives. Their mutual desperation causes a permanent rift in their once blissful marriage, each of them making sacrifices that seem right at the time but have lasting consequences.This is a compelling and powerful book, in spite of my never feeling as emotionally invested in it as I would have liked. In many ways it reads as a parable about secrets, betrayal and desperation.
Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2017
Stay with Me was an emotional story that had me holding my tears on the beach. The writing was amazing. I felt drawn to the characters. This story showed how tradition and belief can test a man’s character. Ayobami Adebayo wrote this story in a way that I couldn’t pick a side. The woman often carries the shame and bear the burden of the family. Even with all the negative decisions, they both made, I still wanted the marriage to survive. This story is a perfect pick for a book club. After reading this story, I find myself wanting to read other reviews. I wanted to read other people’s reaction, especially the ending. I won’t spoil it for you. I loved this story, and I highly recommend you read this novel.
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018
I read this book as a result of seeing it reviewed in my local newspaper. The come on was that it was about a Nigerian woman who is married and her husband brings in another wife after she fails to get pregnant after four years. As I read the book, I kept wishing that I knew a little more about Nigerian culture. It seems that there is a great deal of pressure to have children. While there seems to be a real love between Yejide and Akin, there are aspects of their relationship that just don’t add up. Since I don’t want to be a spoiler, those who have read the book will understand.
Thre is clearly conflict in the relationship and I like the way the author writes one chapter from in the voice of the wife and the next chapter in the voice of the husband so that you can get both perspectives. There were times that I sided with her and then times that I sided with him, although I basicially thought that he was dishonest throughout the relationship. As other reviewers have sad, this is a very sad book. A lot of very sad things happen and you wonder if it is just bad karma or really some kind of curse. That is something that you have to judge for yourself.
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