Skip to main content

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

Warring Wives

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is a snapshot of an unforgettable Nigerian polygamist family with surprising photobombs from the past.

Baba Segi is a succesful Nigerian business owner. He lives comfortably; he has a nice home and a personal driver. He has three wives and seven children, the pride of his existence. He should be content with such a sweet life, but maybe he gets just a little bit too greedy. The day he decides to acquire a new bride is the day that upsets the balance of the household. The other wives aren’t thrilled with the fresh arrival, a woman whose education threatens to overshadow them.  They consider her “the wicked wind that upturned the tranqulity of their home.”[1]  Is it a case of too many cooks spoil the broth?

Things are off to a rough start for rookie Bolanle.  The seasoned wives don’t accept her outstretched offers of kindness, and worse than that, Bolanle isn’t able to offer her husband what he really wants (and really works hard at)—another child. Unfortunately, Bolanle’s “belly is as flat as a pauper’s stomach”[2] and that causes problems. 

The story unwinds to reveal all the wives’ turbulent, violent, tragic past lives and shocking secrets.  It’s an engrossing tale that brings the reader to an understanding of the past, present, and a captivating anticipation of the future. 

I loved this book!  It was such a unique story—a leap into a different country, culture, and an exceptional dilemma. Despite the many brutal and heartbreaking aspects of it, it is narrated in a humorous tone that drew me in and kept me going.  I wanted to find out what brought the four individual women into the arms of a polygamist and what their future holds.

This book, also found with the title “The Secret Lives of Four Wives,” was my book club selection.  My fellow members felt the same way I did about the book. Ranging from "really like" to "love" this book was a big hit. Different. Funny. Harrowing. Memorable. And just plain good!

Happy Reading,

Questions or comments?  Email

[1] Lola Shoneyin, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (London: Serpent’s Tail, an Imprint of Profile Books Ltd, 2010.), 245.

[2] Ibid., 5.


Popular posts from this blog

Fabulous New Little Free Library in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Little Free Library in Tree Stump in Coeur d’Alene, ID

Yesterday, my sister sent me a link to an article about a woman in Coeur d'Alene who turned a 100-year-old tree stump into a Little Free Library and I just had to see it for myself. The article stated that the tree was dying, rotting on the inside, so they had to have it removed. When some people have trees cut down they leave a large section to turn into wood sculptures. I love to see the works of art that are created from those stumps. 
But this stump takes the cake. Instead of a sculpture, owner and artist, Sharalee Armitage Howard, turned her tree stump into the most magnificent Little Free Library I’ve ever seen!  
The library was not yet listed on the map, so the search was on. Carefully viewing the video, I tried to narrow down where the house was located. Then I enlisted my husband’s help to search with me and we found it on the first street we turned down. It’s hard to miss.  This fabulous library is big.  It’s not just …

Little Free Libraries, Coeur d'Alene, ID Update

Take a Book, Leave a Book – Coeur d’Alene, ID Update Take a book, leave a book—that’s what the Little Free Libraries are all about—sharing books. It seems like these libraries are popping up like popcorn in Coeur d’Alene!  I just found four more. How exciting!  (Click here to see original post) 317 W. Mill Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID.  This library is awesome and my photo doesn't do it justice.  It matches the beautiful house and the topper is that the house and library have matching whimsical pine cone rain chains hanging from them! The library has a nice selection of books, and there's a bench right next to it.  Here’s what steward, Kim, wrote about her library on the Little Free Library map locator:
Besides brushing my teeth, reading is the only thing I do every day. I have an extensive personal library and have always delighted in sharing books with others, so becoming an LFL Steward was the next right thing. My partner, Tom, and I bought and have been renovating the house in whi…

Tribute to Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning Author Pearl S. Buck