The Secret Lives of the Four Wives

The Secret Lives of the Four Wives

by Lola Shoneyin


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061946387
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/05/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 469,569
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Lola Shoneyin's work includes three books of poems: So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg (1997), Song of a Riverbird (2002) and For the Love of Flight (2010) and two children's books: Mayowa and the Masquerades (2010) and Iyaji, the Housegirl (2014). Her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives (2010), was long-listed for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and won the PEN Oakland 2011 Josephine Miles Literary Award. After teaching both in Nigeria and abroad for many years, Shoneyin now lives in Lagos, Nigeria and organises the Ake Arts and Book Festival.

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Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
I got this book for free. "The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives" by Lola Shoneyin is a fictional story set in modern day Nigeria and centers around the house of a polygamist. The novel examines the complex relationships between the wives, their children and a new wife who is brought into the house. Bolanle Alao is the young beautiful wife of Bab Segi; she is educated, naive and. his fourth wife. Upsetting the delicate balance of power in the dynamic relationship, Bloanle is noticing that she is being pushed out by the wives, while at the same time being pushed by her husband to have a child. Polygamy was never the first choice for any of the wives, and Bolanle is no different. However, circumstances have a way to make your decision for you. When Bab Segi's two greedy wives devise a Machiavellian plot to make sure Bolanle is out of the way, a disastrous results awaits them which will not only upset the balance of power, but might destroy the whole family. In this polygamists household secrets are the norm, each woman guards her secret against all others in the household, however shares them with the reader through out the story. "The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives" is a sometimes sad, sometimes funny book. The novel examines the compound relationships of a polygamous family, the jealousies, infighting, self deception and conniving. I know very little about Nigeria; however Ms. Shoney made the country very familiar, as well as the people, so I felt at ease reading the book. Since the story is told by multiple people the reader is privy to their emotions, ambitions and world view which makes the characters fully developed and dimensional in a surprisingly short amount of pages. Weaving through each separate narrative, the reader learns of the events which brought this family together as well as an eye for the present. As the story unfolds, we are drawn into the world of Baba Segi and his family. Lola Shoeyin's writing is clear and evokes emotions as well as believable reactions from the characters. Even though the book takes place in Nigeria, it does have universal theme of actions and reactions within a close knit fiefdom of one man's home. For more book reviews please visit ManOfLaBook dot com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting story. Set in Africa, this story of four wives of one wealthy man is funny, sad, and eerie! This is a fast read because it is well written and just unusual. Well worth your time and money. This could be a good movie. Another good book on the Nook is "The Partisan" by William Jarvis. Both books deserve A++++++
viqteepie More than 1 year ago
This story was dynamic and kept my interest down to the last page. I loved the style that it was written and the multiple narrations by each main character was interesting. This story allowed the reader to watch a tale of deception unfold with all of its consequences. I'd be interested in a follow-up story.
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librarysusie More than 1 year ago
This books setting was new to me I don't think I've read any fiction from Africa. This is the story of Baba Segi and his 4 wives and their children. His newest wife Bolanle has not been welcomed with open arms by is other wives. In fact they make life downright miserable for her. There were times in this story where I was a bit confused as to who was talking. It changed POV very often and wasn't always clear who the new narrator was. Other than that I liked this book it was a good story even though I figured out 'the secret' before the people in the book did. It was quite the comeuppance for these wives after all the hurt they had caused Bolanle and others. When I requested this book I thought it was historical fiction but it is set in modern times I don't know enough about the setting to know if plural wives are common place or even if they are legal. But this was a very interesting story of the lives of this family. I would recommend this book it is a good story even though I didn't like a lot of the people in it as they are all extremely flawed by their past. I however did like the story and would read others by this author. 3 ½ Stars (This book would have been 4 stars if it was less confusing by the changing POV) Full Disclosure: I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author does a great job of telling the story from the point of view of the 4 wives and the husband, Baba Segi. I found myself caring about the characters and the outcome of the decisions they made throughout their lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago