My Sister, The Serial Killer was one of those books that made the Bookstagram rounds in 2019. It was that book EVERYONE wanted to read- or seemed to be reading.
Was it worth the hype? Read on to find out!
This debut by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a relatively short one with white-coloured pages which I generally do not like (my preference leans toward cream-coloured.) The cover of the copy I have corresponds with the story, which is something I rarely see with books.
Name: My Sister, The Serial Killer
Number of Pages: 225
Publisher: Narrative Landscape Press Limited
Year of Publication: 2018
Its title is really in sync with the plot. My Sister, The Serial Killer rallies around two Nigerian sisters, Ayoola and Korede, living in present-day Lagos. They have a deep-seated bond and a barrage of secrets.
The book begins with a surprising scene and the story jumps at you from the get-go, followed by a series of flashbacks that do a good job of tying the story together.
Korede, the narrator, is a hardworking, pragmatic nurse whose life seems centred around family and work, and makes great effort to keep them separate, but her plans fail. Her younger sister, Ayoola, is the opposite. She is considered beautiful, in a way that causes people to turn around when they come her way while Korede describes herself as ‘having a stick figure.’
Here’s Why You Should Read My Sister, The Serial Killer
Having grown up in a patriarchal and abusive household, the sisters are protective of each other. After witnessing their father bring another woman into their home, things become very grim. Ayoola literally becomes a serial killer, which is something I have NEVER seen in a Nigerian-authored book prior to reading this.
Consequently, I was happy that the issues of mental health and domestic violence were brought to light, although vaguely.
Sometimes, I was so angry with Korede and wished she would not allow the family tag cloud her human judgement.
In addition to being set in present-day Lagos, with female protagonists, My Sister, The Serial Killer brings a fresh view of Nigerian storytelling.
The use of social media such as Instagram makes the story relatable but also seems to make it time-bound, like it may be difficult to understand in some ways after a while.
This makes me wonder what reading this in 10 years will feel like-Nostalgic, maybe?
Another pro about this book is the language simplicity. You don’t need to pick up a dictionary to understand the book. The story glides seamlessly.
However, I wish the story had more depth and that there was better character development.
There were SO MANY unanswered questions.
What exactly was wrong with Ayoola?
Why end the book like that?
Why were Korede’s co-workers so weird?
I could literally go on (but I am keeping spoilers at a minimum here.)
I remember seeing somewhere that the book is a trilogy but I am not sure how much truth is in that.
This debut novel was simply delightful. I could not put it down until I finished. My co-worker also picked it up and felt the same way.
This isn’t a ‘deep’ book. It is a fast-paced, easy-to-read book that anyone can easily understand.
My Sister, The Serial Killer truly brings a unique perspective and is a book I recommend for someone looking for a light but intriguing read.
Have you read My Sister, The Serial Killer? Did you like it?
Got any easy-read recommendations?
Do share in the comments.