On the one hand, every single one of these characters will infuriate you. On the other, it’s because they feel like real people.
This is a story about displacement: from your family, your home, from one generation to the next, from your very own marriage. It’s a story about transition, specifically for women, within Ghanaian culture and society.
Afi, a young woman who has accepted an arranged marriage in order to provide comfort for her family, ends up falling for her husband. The problem, of course, is that she’s not his only woman. She is told to accept this, to cook his meals and give him a child and convince him to come around.
What she does, in her way, is make her own demands.
Similar to: Dominicana
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.