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The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite - Review

Saturday, March 26, 2022

At the end of February Lee and I went into Barnsley town centre one Saturday and ended up eating in the Market Kitchen, which is a new extension to the market and features several food counters - poutine, Turkish, Thai, curry, cafe, a dessert place - meaning you can all have different things to eat but still sit together. There's also a bar which does nice cocktails. I've been a few times both with Lee and with friends, and I really like it. I've tried the poutine but my favourite is the Thai. So I had massaman curry and Lee had a pizza, which was freshly made and completely delicious. Afterwards we walked through the market and I bought myself some daffodils and two books. The book stall had SO many books and also had a great system - if you take a book back, you have half off the next one you buy! I'm guessing they then resell the one you've brought back as quite a lot were secondhand. This never bothers me, I like second hand books. The owner also showed me the crime section which was huge. I also bought a new Ann Cleeves book and the owner said, "If you like her you'll love Elly Griffiths" and I was like, I do! I've read everything she's written! I was really impressed by the stall and recommend it if you're in the area. I'll definitely go back!

I picked this up as I really enjoyed My Sister Is A Serial Killer so would read something else by the same author. This is just a short story really, but I was immediately drawn into the world and liked the story. It's also the second book I've read set during a Covid lockdown. (The first was The Fell by Sarah Moss). I'm sure there'll be lots more books set during the pandemic, but it is weird to read about something so recent in our history. 

So at the beginning of the story, Bambi is living with his girlfriend in the city. (The book is set in Nigeria, as is My Sister Is A Serial Killer). However, she finds out he's been cheating on her, and throws him out. But lockdown has just hit Nigeria, and Bambi has to go to his grandfather's old house. After the death of his uncle Folu from Covid, the house is inhabited only by his aunt. But when Bambi arrives, in the middle of a powe cut, his finds Esohe there too. And baby Remi. Esohe was Folu's mistress, but Bambi also had a fling with her. But here's the problem: both women are saying that the baby is theirs. Bambi thinks that his aunt has had a baby recently, but as time goes on he becomes unsure about what the truth is. 

I really liked the story and wanted more - I'd have loved a full novel. The atmosphere is oppressive and I could imagine the house perfectly. I'm giving this four out of five, I am so glad I saw it and picked it up!

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