His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
Recommended by Grace Johnson, Peninsula Pulse staffer and bibliophile
I typically don’t reach for romance-focused books, so instead I’m recommending something romance adjacent. Rather than being a story about the fluff of love, His Only Wife explores the intersections of toxic relationships, culture and feminism.
Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been persuaded by her mother to marry Elikem, a man Afi does not know. 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. Afi has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, so Afi must see it through. Or maybe not?
My time reading this was spent cheering on Afi while simultaneously being miffed at her choices (lots of yelling at my book). Even though frustration dominated my reading experience, watching Afi grow into herself, carve out her own place, and learn to love and respect herself was well worth the roller coaster of emotions.