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REVIEW: Stay With Me and My Sister, the Serial Killer

Last February, I read two unique and surprising debut novels about family relationships by Nigerian authors. I have never read anything like either of these books before. Stay With Me  by Ayobami Adebayo is the story of Yejide and her husband, Akin, who married for love and want to break from the tradition of polygamy. But when Yejide is unable to get pregnant, Akin’s family pressures him to take a second wife. The characters are so complex… the events are unforgettable. I felt so many emotions reading this novel. I’m looking forward to reading anything this author writes. “Yejide would have a child and we would be happy forever. The cost didn't matter. It didn't matter how many rivers we had to cross. At the end of it all was this stretch of happiness that was supposed to begin only after we had children and not a minute before.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stay With Me Ayobami Adebayo Published August 1st, 2017 by Knopf 288 pages   My Sister, the Serial Killer  is darkly humorous

REVIEW: The Unseen World by Liz Moore

In 2020, my reading goal was 90 books. I surpassed that goal, reading 91, many of which stood out as exceptional. The Unseen World was the first of these.


I read three Liz Moore novels last year, and each one was completely different. Long Bright River is a police procedural set in an opioid crisis. The Words of Every Song is a series of interconnected short stories about the music industry. The Unseen World, my favorite, is a family mystery with a touch of sci-fi. What the books all have in common is an emphasis on characters and relationships.

There was something nostalgic for me in The Unseen World. I identified right away with the child narrator, Ada, who was born the same year I was. She is 13 at the start of the book when her father develops early-onset Alzheimer’s. When I was about that age, I read A Wrinkle in Time and it became one of my favorite books. In it, Meg Murray (also 13) enlists the help of her neighbor to find her father. He is a scientist working on a scientific breakthrough just before he disappears. Maybe it’s a stretch, but Ada’s story feels familiar to me. Meg travels through time and space to literally find her imprisoned father – Ada travels into a virtual time and space in order to find answers about her father’s identity.

The Unseen World combines multiple genres. It is mainly a slow-building coming of age story with a touch of science fiction. In this case, the sci-fi aspect is what resulted in an emotional, satisfactory ending for me. Like A Wrinkle in Time, this novel gives me the feeling of revisiting an old friend. A new favorite.



⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Unseen World
Liz Moore
Published July 26h, 2016 by W. W, Norton Company
451 pages

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