His Only Wife

His Only Wife

A Novel

Book - 2020
Average Rating:
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6
"An intelligent and funny debut about a relatable, indomitable heroine: a young seamstress in Ghana who agrees to an arranged marriage, only to realize that some compromises are too extreme to accept, illuminating what it means to be a woman in a rapidly changing world"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chapel Hill : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616209155
1616209151
9781643751115
Characteristics: 278 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

When impoverished twenty-one-year-old Afi is married to the scion of a wealthy and powerful family, her life changes overnight. Thirteen years her senior, Eli is practically a stranger, and already living with another woman. Immediately after the wedding, she is whisked off to the big city and in... Read More »

October 2020 pick, Reese's Book Club

October 2020 pick, Reese's Book Club

October 2020 pick, Reese's Book Club

When impoverished twenty-one-year-old Afi is married to the scion of a wealthy and powerful family, her life changes overnight. Thirteen years her senior, Eli is practically a stranger, and already living with another woman. Immediately after the wedding, she is whisked off to the big city and in... Read More »


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d
Doobie2_0
Nov 13, 2020

I really enjoyed this book. I would like to read some more of her books. Very good author, for it to be her debut.

j
jsbrock84
Oct 24, 2020

I enjoyed reading this novel. Afi the main character is smart, sassy, and insightful. I couldn't help but cheer on her bold decisions during the reading of the novel!!! Afi represents every strong modern day woman in todays society!

r
ryner
Oct 13, 2020

Afi's mother is ecstatic! Fortune is surely smiling upon them, because the wealthy family of Elikam Ganyo has proposed marriage between him and Afi, though the two have never actually met. However, when Elikem doesn't even attend their own wedding in person (though this is not entirely outside of custom), Afi is sorely disappointed and has serious doubts about their future. Though the marriage will increase their social status and greatly improve their financial situation, and though Afi likes and is attracted to Elikem when she finally meets him in person, when she learns that his family has arranged the marriage solely to distract him from his live-in girlfriend she begins to wonder what she has gotten herself into.

This is both a heartbreaking and inspiring book. I appreciated how, though Afi is bound in some ways Ghanaian cultural constraints and expectations, neither is she afraid to speak up and act for herself, her dignity and her independence. This is the first book I've read by a Ghanaian author, and I very much recommend it.

I received this ARC via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

JCLGreggW Oct 02, 2020

This wonderful debut novel features Afi, a smart, talented woman from a small town in Ghana who is married off to Elikem, a businessman who's in love with another; it's Afi's job to bring him back to respectable society. But what does SHE want? layered and compulsively readable; a book group's delight.

t
Trixie_reads
Sep 22, 2020

I understood this to be a feminist story, but there were only a couple of minor female characters who weren't at the mercy of male relatives. I spent most of the book being angry and wishing Afi would grow a backbone.

b
brangwinn
Sep 01, 2020

This is a perfect book for reading during the Pandemic because it illustrates the saying “Books take us places when we are forced to stay home.” In this case, it is to contemporary Ghana with a look both at the rural lifestyle and beliefs and the city life. Afi and her mom have lived in poverty since her father’s unexpected death. They’ve been taken under the wing of Aunty Ganyo who has given Afi’s mother a job. When Afi gets older, she becomes the arranged marriage wife of Aunty’s wealthy son who lives in Accra. Aunty does not like Efi’s girlfriend and is determined to get this Liberian girlfriend out of her son’s life. Looking at what is happening through Afi’s eyes is not only a look at how Ghanan culture and tradition clash with modern women. Afi is determined not to share her husband. She is determined not to just sit in the luxury apartment waiting for him to visit. Her decision to get her own education, her own driver’s license, her own job and to move into her husband’s house forcing the girlfriend out leads to lots of clashes with Aunty. She is NOT to break with tradition. She is to learn to live with it. At the end of the book, you’ll cheer for Afi’s courage and determination to be her own person and live the life she deserves. This is Peace Adzo Medie’s debut novel and I look forward to more. She has an ability to create strong, three-dimensional women and tell their story. Thank goodness, Afi lived next door to her brother-in-law’s girlfriend who encouraged her to not accept “tradition.”

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