Book Review: The Baby Is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite

I read the author’s debut a couple of years ago so when I stumbled upon this novella by her, I was curious to read it and see how her work has grown thus far.

‘The Baby is Mine’ is a story set in Lagos, Nigeria during the time of the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown told from the POV of Bambi, a true “Lagos boy” who has been thrown out of his girlfriend’s apartment after she found some incriminating chats and messages on his phone. With no where else to go, he heads for his late uncle’s home and finds his uncle’s widow and then surprisingly, his uncle’s side chick Esohe living together with his uncle’s new born baby boy. Suddenly, Bambi finds himself in the same shoes as the biblical King Solomon when two women both claimed to be the mothers of a child, leaving him to determine who the real mother is or is not.

This was a very quick but entertaining story. Although it wasn’t as mysterious as I would have loved it to be, I easily took to the characters irrespective of whether I liked them or not. Unlike most novellas that usually keep me wanting more or with poorly developed characters, I had a feeling of satisfaction when I finished reading this book. Bambi’s POV gave a witty feel to an ordinarily serious situation especially at the times he would reflect or remember events in the past which helped to enrich the storyline. The down-side of this story is that it was quite predictable and from early on in the story I had guessed who the real mother of the child was.

Nevertheless, it was a Sunday well spent breezing through this book so If you are looking for something really short that you can read in one sitting, I recommend this book.

Rating: 4 Stars

Published: May 27th 2021 by Atlantic (first published May 27th 2020)

Pages: 128

Genre: Mystery

The Author:

OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo, a Nigerian publishing house, and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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