What is the place of individuals within society?
Have you ever made a hasty decision and lived to like it? I did, by purchasing and reading a book, Stay with Me, by Ayobami Adebayo.
Reading the book has implanted a lifelong question in my mind.
Is society failing men by putting too much pressure on women? For example, by society focusing on Yejide for the couple’s childlessness, did they give her more openings to seek a remedy? On the other hand, by society not focusing on a man whenever a couple is childless, did that leave Akin with no outlet for his anger or search for a solution?
Looking to connect with local readers and writers, I joined the Text Book Center Book Club, Nairobi. Once I opened the first page of the book, there was no way I could put it down, and I have my reasons for that.
The author has used intricate ways to mould regular individuals into memorable characters, use of flashbacks, description of influential events in the bigger context of community and country, and vivid descriptions of day to day activities of ordinary people in Nigeria.
The book is a page turner. Ayobami captured my attention through her use of suspense, language use and sentence pacing. Each time I wanted to stop at the end of a page or chapter, the author gave me reason to open the next page, start the next chapter.
After reading the last page, I was more than ready to attend the book club session. Eager to hear what the other readers had to say about the many questions racing through my mind:
Why did Akin and Yejide find it so hard to discuss or even shout at one another about the issues disturbing them? How much can a human being house in their soul?
What is the role of society in decisions made by individuals or families? Is there a perfect way of life on earth?
How much choice or leeway are individuals left with once they choose to be members of a community, society?
Perfectionism: is life all about each individual trying to perfect what makes them happy, irrespective of the tears their choice will bring to another?
After how much suffering are individuals expected to resort to science or culture to solve a medical challenge?
Why can’t the medical doctors explain to Yejide and Akin on what Sickle Cell disease is, causes, and therefore the reason their children are dying? Or are the medical doctors themselves bewildered between science and culture?
Whichever lens you decide to use as you read Stay with Me, the book is a good read. Well edited and paced. The only roadblock you will need to overcome is separating flashbacks from the current story. Continue reading even after you encounter a point in the book which feels like the end, it restarts on the next page and picks up speed.
The reason I will not divulged into any details on content is because I want you to go read the book.
Have you ever read a book that got you thinking and wondering on the role of society in decisions made by individuals? Please share.
Until the next book, enjoy reading.
First published, January 17th 2018