The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives, Paperback Book

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


To the dismay of her ambitious mother, Bolanle marries into a polygamous family, where she is the fourth wife of a rich, rotund patriarch, Baba Segi.

She is a graduate and therefore a great prize, but even graduates must produce children and her husband's persistent bellyache is a sign that things are not as they should be.

Bolanle is too educated for the 'white garment conmen' Baba Segi would usually go to for fertility advice, so he takes her to hospital to discover the cause of her barrenness.

Weaving the voices of Baba Segi and his four competing wives into a portrait of a clamorous household of twelve, Lola Shoneyin evokes an extraordinary Nigerian family in splashes of vibrant colour.


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This book has been in my" to read" pile for sometime. I am not sure what made me less than excited to read it. Possibly the cover art and title implied that it would be a tedious folk story. I did pull it out of the pile because it was smaller than the rest and would fit in my luggage as I packed for an out of town job. I am glad I packed it!This book is not a folk story. If you can read this book without judging the polygamist life style and making any assumptions you will find it to be a very enlightening, brutally truthful story. This is a story of life in Nigeria. A place most Americans know little about. It is the story of four Nigerian wives and their polygamous husband. It brings some a very different view points to light. The characters are will written and three dimensional. The writing style retains some of the African flavor of the Nigerian language with many proverbs and colorful sayings throughout the book. Each chapter of the book is told by a different character. At times, it was a bit confusing, because the character that was speaking was not immediately identified. As you read it became apparent who the chapter was about. It kept me from becoming a lazy reader.If you are looking for a change of pace, put this one on the top of your "to read" pile!Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks for the opportunity to read and review this book.