GSWS Feminist Book Club - May 2023

May 16, 2023

GSWS Feminist Book Club's May Book:

His Only Wife

Peace Adzo Medie

Penguin Books (2020)

Average member rating: 3.8/5

This is a book that everyone liked, more or less  The writing is smooth and straightforward. From the very first sentence, the author hooks us in. The book showcases the disparity between rural and urban spaces through the protagonist, Afi, who is in that liminal space through her connections to her mother and past life and the life she comes into through her arranged marriage to a rich man. The book made us question the institution of marriage, specifically what it meant for Afi compared to the other women in the book. Mawusi, her cousin, for instance, viewed marriage in fairytale terms but was also sometimes adamant about traditional perspectives when advising Afi. The political and the personal blur significantly and cleverly through these women's stories, with patriarchal systems of power affecting them in different oppressive ways, even Auntie, Afi's mother-in-law, who seemed like an immovable force of a person at the beginning. Nonetheless, women are the primary decision-makers in this book, which we appreciated. We did want more at times, as some subplots weren’t fully explored and therefore we land on a rating of 3.8/5