His Only Wife
By Peace Adzo Medie
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020
One of BuzzFeed's "29 Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Year"
Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course—Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, a place of wealth and sophistication where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not?
His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance. And in Afi, Peace Medie has created a delightfully spunky and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.
“Peace Adzo Medie’s mesmerizing debut novel lives up to both the power of its first sentence and the promise of its author’s first name . . . At a time when adventure is scarce, Medie gives you a lot to look forward to, think about and be grateful for.”
—The New York Times Book Review
"With spot-on characterizations of deeply involved extended families and realistic depictions of how money can change everything, Peace Adzo Medie conjures a Cinderella story just right for 2020.”