Book Review: His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

This happens to be one of those “Bookstagram” made me buy it books. I read a lot of good reviews about this book on Instagram that convinced me it was going to be worth my time.

The premise of this story is based on the complexities around a man whose family doesn’t accept his choice of a spouse and after years of trying to separate him from “that woman”, they take the law into their hands and marry a wife for him. The story then follows Afi, the chosen one who will rescue their son and brother from the hands of “that woman” and Afi’s experiences as she tries to play the role of “His Only Wife”.

This wasn’t what I expected. First off, I didn’t really find it to be as witty as many had promised which was one of the selling points for me. Yes, there were some funny parts especially with Afi’s description of certain things like, her brother in-law’s choice of wearing body fitted t-shirts despite his protruding stomach or when she would always say “Please” before she makes a sentence when she was speaking to her husband. However, there was something about her character development that didn’t seem fully formed and perhaps even the development of some of the other characters. This made it quite difficult to find a likable character and most importantly, the turn of events towards the end of the story (which goes back to Afi’s character development again) came off as unrealistic in my opinion especially when she went into this arrangement with the full knowledge of what the stakes were. In general, I think there were several plot holes in this story and that definitely affected how I felt about the story.

On the upside, I love Accra (apart from the crazy traffic in that city) which is a city I’ve visited a good number of times therefore reading this book gave me a feeling of nostalgia as several familiar places in the city were mentioned. Besides this, the story was just an “okay” read but I will look out for more by the author in the future and hope that I would enjoy it more than I did this one.

Rating: 3 Stars

Published: September 1st 2020 by Algonquin Books

Pages: 288

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


The Author

Peace Adzo Medie

Peace Adzo Medie is a Ghanaian writer and senior lecturer in gender and international politics at the University of Bristol in England. Prior to that she was a research fellow at the University of Ghana. She has published several short stories, and her book Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa was published by Oxford University Press in 2020. She is an award-winning scholar and has been awarded several fellowships. She holds a PhD in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in geography from the University of Ghana. She was born in Liberia.

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