Sunday, November 24, 2019

Book Review: 'My Sister, the Serial Killer'

Korede and Ayoola are two sisters living in Lagos, Nigeria. Ayoola is beautiful, free mind, fashion designer, with a line of dates begging her favors every day. Korede is educated, disciplined, hard working in a hospital, secretly in love with a doctor. The two of them have a couple of secrets to share: the men Ayoola is killing.
Is no specific reason those men are killed. Maybe they are too much, or violent or are boring Ayoola to tears. They are not long-term relationships. Maybe she sees in them reminiscences of their own father's behavior. Not clear. Fact is that Korede always helps her to hide the bodies. Ayoola might be under suspicion, got to answer some police questions, but never caught. 
One victim, who happens to be Korede' secret crush, happens to survive. And ends up in prison as accused of trying to kill Ayoola as he his proposal was dismissed. The sisterhood loyalty survived.
I loved very much the rough simple journalistic style of this story: facts after facts, plus the chaotic everyday life in Lagos. Direct - non-pathetic - accounts about how the life of women in Nigeria is going on, how they have to struggle for their existence, adapt to the men's world who still seems to lag centuries behind in terms of respecting women and their rights. 
Ayoola's relatively high social fragility turns into a murderous asset: the easiness to show her power against those men, in a fatal way. A knife in the back reminds them how short their life is, but too late to teach them a lesson.
I've seen mentioned in many reviews that My Sister, the Serial Killer is a humorous book. Not sure what to say about it. There are tragi-comical situations, and this is always like this when under high social pressure, but life is mostly like this. Which doesn't make it humorous though. 
Oyinkan Braithwaite is now on my list of Nigerian writers to follow in the next years.

Rating: 4 stars

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