Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Secret Lives of the Four Wives: A Novel by Titilola Alexandrah Shoneyin

The Secret Lives of the Four Wives: A Novel
  • Title: The Secret Lives of the Four Wives: A Novel
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • Format: Paperback, 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 5, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0061946389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061946387
  • Notes: Not a book for kids. Sex is openly discussed although not in great detail. Language used which some may find offensive.

Bolanle has decided to become the fourth wife of Baba Segi, a wealthy Nigerian business owner. Some may think she married him for his money, but that's not it. It is hinted that something happened to Bolanle to change her whole perspective and personality at the beginning of the book. As the story unfolds, her secret will be revealed. Hers, however, is not the only secret that is being kept. The other wives have a secret of their own, and by not revealing it to Bolanle, it will be uncovered, and it will change Baba Segi's household forever.  

This is truly a book about Bolanle and her journey to find peace with herself and the world. I like how the book came full circle beginning and ending with her story. She did not expect to be welcomed with open arms by the other wives, but she didn't expect to be hated either. This book takes a close look into the taboo topic of polygamy, and looks at some of the problems associated with it. It delves into those basic human emotions of jealousy and hate. The book takes a look at the lives of  each of the three wives from their own perspective, and reveals how each of their paths led them to their current place in Baba Segi's household. We get a look at some of the injustices that are suffered from a society where women aren't always held in high regard. As secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes Bolanle grows and deals with what happened to her so many years ago. I gave this one 3 out of 5 roses.

I should mention I got this book from the wonderful publisher, William Morrow. They provided me and five members of my Goodreads Group, Nothing but Reading Challenges, copies via a giveaway. It is one of our August Books of the Month. If you'd like to join us in our discussion of the book we'll probably be starting later this week. Thank you William Morrow. Here is a link to the group discussion:

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