Book Review: His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
By TamaraTari Alakiri
They say that a family looks after and cares for their own but in the case of ‘Uncle’, he makes bride price lists look like the annual spending budget of a country and boldly knocks at your door to ask for more when he lavishes it all in barely two months.
They say that a family is the strongest unit in the society and that the bonds are pure and unbreakable but you will later discover that your siblings are the weapon fashioned against you and your romantic relationship.
This story, His Only Wife, took us at Her Story’s Book Lovers Club to the moon and back. It was indeed an adventurous ride. Set in Ghana, we were immersed into the culture and practices of a small town called Ho. We were introduced to their food, family systems, settings and values.
From the onset, the Protagonist, Afi, is set to marry into a wealthy family by proxy. The extravagance of the event does not end at the wedding but extends to when Afi is ushered into a rented luxury apartment where she never, in her former trenches life, could have imagined she would be. However, the drama starts when she discovers that the apartment is not her husband’s house. This turbulent ride gets more interesting and controversial when we finally meet the elusive husband, Eli, a good looking and successful man who wanted to eat his cake and have it.
This isn’t some wait till the middle then it gets interesting type of novel but a story of a young tenacious Afi Tekple, married off to the wealthy Elikem Ganyo, in a bid to save him from the ‘spell’ his family believes he is under by his current girlfriend that he has a child with. Innocent as a good wife is expected to be, Afi diligently does everything in her power to impress Eli and his family. Though unknown to her a false and negative narrative had been painted by Eli’s Mother and siblings which Afi only realizes when it’s too late, though that didn’t stop her earlier from fighting imaginary battles to taking extra measures just to ‘secure’ her spot in her husband’s house. That of course ended up futile because Afi got served a sumptuous breakfast.
This literary breath of fresh air explores themes of entitlement in the family setting, overbearing in-laws, deception, ambition, and the intimacy of feminine friendships. The major take home that had the book club spurting with admiration and love is that Afi chose herself and her wellbeing above all else. She got the bag and leveled up – with prospects for a comfortable life with her child, Selorm- but not as his only wife.