‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite


This book has been a literary favourite and a social media sensation.

The story is set in Lagos, Nigeria during a corrupt and disruptive time for law and order. The author’s personal history with this town, being her hometown, gives an authentic and rich flavour to the writing. From the comfort of my Sydney, urban balcony when reading this book I can hear the trucks going along dusty roads and rain pelting so hard it breaks umbrellas. It is a fascinating observation of women living in Nigeria in 2019 and an obvious reason why this novel was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2019 and the Manbooker Long List of 2019.

This is the story of Korede, a respectable nurse in her community who has a beautiful, little sister called Ayoola who has a nasty habit of leaving a string of murdered ex-boyfriends behind her…all in the name of self defence.

In order to survive and protect her family, Korede must don the rubber gloves and bleach to clean up after Ayoola. Korede is happy to turn a blind eye to Ayoola’s dangerous hobby until Ayoola catches the eye of Korede’s handsome and favourite doctor as the hospital she works at.

This story is rich in subtle layers. The chapters and prose are short and witty and character inner monologues provide intriguing perspectives.

A good read for those wanting to break into the genre of dark satire.

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