My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – Our Review (Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019)
I picked up this gem of a book just before we went into renovations – it nearly got packed away but it’s one that’s made me pause each time on the shelf – crying out to be read!
Hugely entertaining, quickly paced and quite like nothing else I’ve ever read, My Sister the Serial Killer in set in busy Lagos Nigeria. Korede is a no nonsense senior nurse in a busy inner city hospital. She’s antisocial and more comfortable talking with comatose patients about the darker aspects of her life than anyone else. Her beloved younger sister Ayoola is the local great beauty, whom like a siren of legend, her looks entice both men and women alike. Ayoola has had a string of seemingly bad luck – three of her lovers have died in mysterious circumstances. All have reputedly tried to harm her, but strangely she never has a mark.
Proving that blood is thicker than water when each time Ayoola has rushed with tears pouring down her cheeks to Korede she has silently but efficiently made these men’s bodies disappear.
So when Tade the kindly young doctor who is wise and charming to all his patients, (and whom Korede has long loved from afar), spots Ayoola in the clinic, Korede feels a rising panic. Before her eyes he falls into that haze-like daze and soon asks for Ayolla’s number.
From here we go on a hilarious ride through the Nigeria culture, police corruption, the disfunctional universal ties that bind us to family, the role social media attaches to beauty and more pertinently the values men place upon women.
Wise, darkly funny and utterly charming, you’ll want to read a lot more Nigerian literature after this!
Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books