Originally published: November 2018
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Published by: Anchor Books
Length: 226 pages
Reading dates: 21-23 June 2020
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favourite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead.
Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.
My Sister the Serial Killer is a book I’ve wanted to read for so long. Nominated for loads of awards last year including The Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Booker Prize, I bought myself a copy in Orlando airport, after a trip to Disneyland and then predictably it sat on my bookshelf! Luckily, quite a few book club members also had a copy and were keen to read it and it was finally chosen for our June book club read. I don’t know yet what they thought of it as our meeting was postponed for a week, but I can’t wait to talk to them about it.
Korede has the patience of a saint! As the book begins, Ayoola has just stabbed her third boyfriend to death. Always having an excuse as to why they deserved it, she invariably calls Korede who sees it as her duty as the older sister to sort out her mess. She has become an expert in cleaning every nook and cranny for all the blood splatters and the bodies are loaded into her car before being dumped into the river.
Set in the city of Lagos in Nigeria, Korede is a competent nurse and is in love with a doctor, Tade and is doing her best to woo him when Ayoola comes to visit the hospital and her beauty turns his head. To Korede’s dismay, they are soon dating, and she is dreads the moment Ayoola calls to say it has happened again. Unable to keep what is happening to herself any longer, Korede confides in a coma patient knowing that he will be able to keep her secrets!
This is a quick read with short snappy chapters that make you just want to keep reading. I liked the fact it was set in Africa and the cultural differences. Despite the fact that Ayoola is obviously a psychopath, I still quite liked her! She is almost childish in her outlook – as well as caring little about the men she kills, she also seems to have no awareness of how she should behave as the girlfriend of a dead man! I felt sorry for Korede, expected by everyone to be the responsible older sister, she doesn’t have Ayoola’s beauty or charm but I was impressed by her loyalty to her sister,
Darkly humorous, I really enjoyed this. I’m well aware I’m probably the last person to read this but if you fancy a thrilling and riveting read, My Sister the Serial Killer is the book for you!
About the author:
OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo, a Nigerian publishing house, and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.