Author: Peace Adzo Medie
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Book Description: “Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.”
Afi Tekple is a young seamstress whose life is narrowing rapidly. She lives in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother, spending much of her time in her uncle Pious’s house with his many wives and children. Then one day she is offered a life-changing opportunity—a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo, a man she doesn’t truly know. She acquiesces, but soon realizes that Elikem is not quite the catch he seemed. He sends a stand-in to his own wedding, and only weeks after Afi is married and installed in a plush apartment in the capital city of Accra does she meet her new husband. It turns out that he is in love with another woman, whom his family disapproves of; Afi is supposed to win him back on their behalf. But it is Accra that eventually wins Afi’s heart and gives her a life of independence that she never could have imagined for herself.
A brilliant scholar and a fierce advocate for women’s rights, author Peace Adzo Medie infuses her debut novel with intelligence and humor. For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Candice Carty-Williams, His Only Wife is the story of an indomitable and relatable heroine that illuminates what it means to be a woman in a rapidly changing world.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: This is a brilliant story of a woman in Ghana who refuses to accept anything that is less than she believes she deserves. The story starts on Afi Tekple’s wedding day, except the man she is marrying, Eli, is not there and he sends her brother in his absence to stand for him. Who knew you could not attend your own wedding.
Going into this marriage she knows her husband was in love with another woman and that he has a child with her, but his mother and family will not bless this wedding, and that is where Afi comes in. After the wedding she moves to Accra to a beautiful apartment, and does not meet her husband for almost two months.
The first year of their marriage is awkward. Eli is never home, spending time with the other woman and their child. They do start to spend more time together and she inevitably falls in love with Eli. Everything seems like it is going so well, but this story starts to unravel and Medie takes on a journey that will be unforgettable.
I adored this book very much. It was wonderful to see how the author depicts this strong woman. This felt refreshing compared to many other books I have read with Africa as the setting. You will definitely not want to put this one down.
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Thank you Algonquin for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.