Originally published: 31 March 2022
Author: Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
Published by: Viking
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Page count: 400
Reading dates: 18-20 March 2022
Yinka wants to find love. Her mum wants to find it for her.
She also has too many aunties who frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, a preference for chicken and chips over traditional Nigerian food, and a bum she’s sure is far too small as a result. Oh, and the fact that she’s a thirty-one-year-old South-Londoner who doesn’t believe in sex before marriage is a bit of an obstacle too…
When her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences ‘Operation Find A Date for Rachel’s Wedding’. Armed with a totally flawless, incredibly specific plan, will Yinka find herself a huzband?
What if the thing she really needs to find is herself?
Yinka is a successful British-Nigerian woman in her early 30s with a good job at an investment bank and her own home. Despite all her successes in life, her very religious family, especially her mum’s generation are very keen to see her get married. When her cousin Rachel announces her engagement Yinka decides she needs to find this elusive husband or at least have a date to take with her to the wedding to get her family off her back. At the engagement party she bumps into her ex who is engaged to a new woman and this hurts Yinka terribly and makes her more determined to find a man – “Operation Find a Date to Rachel’s Wedding” is on.
She reluctantly agrees to attend her mum’s church to meet a prospective partner identified by one of her many aunties. She joins Tinder. Meanwhile her best friend is concerned that Yinka is trying to change herself to please a man – she gets hair weaves for the first time ever, starts doing squats to try and improve the shape of her bum, pretends she can cook Nigerian food and starts wearing clothes that she thinks men will like.
I loved Yinka! She is surrounded by family and good friends and although at times she doesn’t treat them as well as she could she is suffering a crisis of confidence, and they are still there for her. I found the book funny but also cringed at the many public prayers her mum and aunties insist of having for her to find a husband! Yinka is being pressured into finding her husband by her family but it is also something she wants for herself. I enjoyed learning more about the British Nigerian culture and the issues they face – Yinka herself doesn’t drink much alcohol and has vowed to stay a virgin until she is married which makes finding a partner even harder.
Yinka, Where is Your Huzband is a modern, funny and heart-warming romcom which I absolutely loved. I’ve read a few similar books recently where young women are being pressured to marry by their families but Yinka was my favourite. An impressive debut!
Many thanks to the author for sending me both a proof copy as a giveaway prize on Instagram.
About the author:
Lizzie Damilola Blackburn is a British-Nigerian writer, born in Peckham, who wants to tell the stories that she and her friends have longed for but never seen – romcoms ‘where Cinderella is Black and no-one bats an eyelid’. In 2019 she won the Literary Consultancy Pen Factor Writing Competition with the early draft of Yinka, Where is your Huzband?, which she had been writing alongside juggling her job at Carers UK. She has been at the receiving end of the question in the title of her novel many times, and now lives with her husband in Milton Keynes.