Book Review: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

So before opening this book, I had already judged it by its cover. I had judged the book to be about a man who married 4 wives who all had secret lives and helped each other cover up each other’s secrets. That they were like sister wives, with emphasis on the metaphorical sisterhood, who supported each other and were there for each other, all at the expense of their husband.  

Although the book fulfilled some of my expectations, it was very far off from what I thought it would be about. For one, there was no covering for one another, except when bullying and trying to destroy the new wife.

Baba Segi is a rich man in Nigeria who has three wives and decides to marry a fourth, a college graduate. The other wives, jealous of the youth and education of the fourth wife, vow to make her life hell, as she strives to become pregnant and give Baba Segi (who already has seven children) a child.

The novel was very easy to read and was a refreshing break from my busy day. It was easy to get hooked on to and I was always excited for the next chapter/ narrative from a different character’s perspective. It is clear that the author wants us to sympathise with Bolanle, the fourth wife, due to the horrible treatment she endures at the hands of the other wives. Baba Segi is portrayed as an uneducated man who is easily dupped by his wives.

The ending to the novel is one that is predictable but yet satisfactory. All the characters get their comeuppance, especially the wives, and we, as the readers are relieved at the path that Bolanle chooses for herself, after reconciling with her family and her past.

If you’re looking for a beach read, whilst stuck in a lockdown due to COVID, but still like to imagine yourself on a beach, then this is the perfect read. The novel is short enough to finish on an (imaginary) holiday, whilst providing all the drama and resolution that we love from holiday reads. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, solely for the fact that it was enjoyable and allowed me to escape the dreary January weather.

Thank you for reading.

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