The Secret Lives Of The Four Wives by Lola Shoneyin

Bolanle Alao is about to cause an uproar.  She has just become the youngest wife, the fourth wife , of Baba Sigi.  Bolanle is smart, educated, and beautiful – but naive when it comes to the relationship dynamics among the other three wives. 

Baba Segi is an overweight businessman who welcomed Bolanle into his home, no questions asked.  Bolanle whose mild manner and sweet looks quickly becomes Baba Segi’s most valued possession.  Baba’s other wives, particularity Iya Segi and Iya Femi, come up with a plan to make sweet Bolanle leave, only to be met with disaster when a secret is uncovered that the three other wives have long guarded and now this secret will change everything…

Alternative covers

I didn’t just happen upon this room.  I dreamed of the pale green walls before I arrived.  Now the built in wardrobe was mine and so is the ceiling fan. Opening lines to The Secret Lives Of The Four Wives

I am sitting here this morning posed over my laptop trying desperately to think how to put my feelings about this book into words.  Everything I type, I delete as I do not think it does this book justification. 

Raw with emotion, packed with powerfully written words, I think I melted into this read from the very start…. it just… became a part of me.

It’s not often where I find a multi character book that develops each of the characters to the point that I feel I knew them all.  This was the case in The Secret Lives Of The Four Wives.   I felt as though I would recognize them on the street, Iya Femi with her love of money and what it can do, Iya Tope, kind but shy and always afraid, Iya Segi – the one to watch out for as she shows  no mercy to those she feels have crossed her, and of course the lovely Bolanle, intelligent and beautiful and therefore a threat to the other three.

A polygamous marriage was not the plan for any of these women, but occasionally – you have to deal the hand you got. There were times I had to laugh at the results of these four women wanting the attentions of one man, and at other times I had to think what a different life style this would be to the point I felt a little sorry for each of them.  There are a few hard topic lines as well including:  rape, and while sex is part of the book, it is detailed out to the point of TMI, but as a natural part of the story being told.

The setting of this tale is in Nigeria and is beautifully detailed with the words that carried me from page to page to page….

A breathtaking read.

This book was sent to me as part of the TLC Book Tour

35 thoughts on “The Secret Lives Of The Four Wives by Lola Shoneyin

    1. LOL Bonnie – yes this is the same book and I do not know why the change but had heard there was the cover change and a name change…. (no idea the background).

      I did not know it was on tour last year too. Interesting.

      TMI = Too Much Information 😛

      Oh and I meant it is “not” detailed to the point of TMI. This typing with one hand makes for funny errors 😀

  1. I read this last year under its old name and to be honest I didn’t feel nearly as strongly about it as you did. I liked it but didn’t connect with the characters at all. Just goes to show you – different strokes for different folks!

    1. Right Heather! The beauty of books! 😀

      I am curious now about the differences in the book from last year to now… I heard there was a name change. I wonder if anything else changed…

  2. This book was/is awesome. It made me laugh, want to cry and at times angry at the characters of the book. It is a must read!!!!

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