All posts tagged: the secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives

Book Review: The Secret Lives of Baba's Segi's Wives By Lola Shoneyin.

The first time I heard of Lola Shoneyin, it was in an interview she gave where she stated that she wrote because it beat ironing! I wish I could make a similar choice… ‘No, Daddy. I can’t iron your shirts, I want to write.’ Haha! Lola’s first novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, chronicles the history and happenings of a polygamous household. I started the book expecting a Fuji House of Commotion kind of scenario; lots of humor, petty jealousy, and cat fights between rivalling wives. Well, check on all counts. Except that the humor arises from the author’s amusement at her characters, the jealousy is more virulent than petty, and there are no cat fights, no physical combat. Just deliberately hurtful (very hurtful) words. Ok, I thought, a serious book. Lola tells the story of the Alao family with highly evocative descriptions and with an elegant plot. Baba Segi, the head of the household, is married to four wives, Iya Segi, Iya Tope, Iya Femi and Bolanle. As the story progresses, we …