Foreword Reviews

His Only Wife

A brave young woman confronts modern-day sexism and classism in Peace Adzo Medie’s novel His Only Wife.

Left penniless after her father’s death, Afi and her mother survive thanks to the wealth of a benefactor, Aunty Faustina. When Aunty proposes an arranged marriage between her son, Elikem, and Afi, it is an opportunity to repay her kindness and to enjoy the comforts of wealth again. Only Elikem’s secret affair with a woman whom his family dislikes complicates the offer. Nevertheless, Afi agrees.

After a wedding sans the groom, Afi moves from her small Ghanian town to Accra, where she is put up in a ritzy condo and carefully looked after. Weeks elapse before Afi meets Elikem in person. In the meantime, Afi uses her newfound connections to enroll in a design school.

When Eli begins to appear more frequently, the two fall into a storybook romance, though his mysterious mistress remains in the picture. Eli is still a guest in her condo when Afi discovers she is pregnant. As Afi’s bravery grows, she defies what’s expected of her and demands to be taken seriously.

Colloquial diction and modern amenities help to set the book’s stage, though its descriptions of settings sometimes fall short of their potential. Characters are introduced with speed, and even the story’s main influencers make minor impressions at first. Still, the pieces of the story connect in a seamless way.

Afi’s story is compelling, even if its developments are predictable. Unembellished conversations, combined with Afi’s steady internal monologue, help to convey her intentions; her relationships develop at a steady pace. Afi’s charm makes her an empowering example of modern womanhood.

Its message bold and its viewpoint appealing, His Only Wife is an inspiring novel.

Reviewed by Samantha Ann Ehle

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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