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My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan…

My Sister, the Serial Killer (2017)

by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3624144,649 (3.93)47



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English (40)  Piratical (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
A simple story that impresses for being simply told. ( )
  mpho3 | Mar 22, 2019 |
From the book jacket: Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now, Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead.

My reactions
What an interesting concept! I was immediately drawn into the sisters’ co-dependent relationship. I understood and sympathized with Korede’s dilemma: she loves her sister, has vowed to protect her, but now is racked with guilt and wondering how she can safeguard not only her sister, but the man SHE loves (quietly and from afar). Ayoola is frustratingly irresponsible, cavalier, and, yes, charming. Her lies fall effortlessly from her lips until even Korede seems to believe them. And yet …

I was fearful for Korede. She is the quiet, smart, professionally employed, responsible one. Not very pretty, but always kind and sensitive. The patients at the hospital where she is a nurse love her, and the doctors and administration appreciate her. And yet, she is lonely and longs for a love of her own. How can she possibly not be jealous of her beautiful sister, who has men fawning over her right left and sideways? I just knew she would come to harm as the plot moved relentlessly towards its inevitable conclusion.

Flashbacks to their violent father’s actions helped me understand the sisters’ bond. But I cannot help but wonder if Korede had more to do with his death than originally implied.

The tension is nonstop. Will she? Won’t she? When will she? How will she? In the end I’m left wondering WHO is the psychopath here? ( )
  BookConcierge | Mar 18, 2019 |
Hidden Sisterhood
Review of the Doubleday Books hardcover (2018) based on the original Nigerian eBook "Thicker Than Water" (2017)

I wanted to link to the original edition title of this book in the above header just to highlight that the garish edge has been added by the international publishers after the fact and was not actually there to begin with. The international cover art certainly makes it stand out from the pack though, so kudos to the marketing department.

We are definitely in noir comedy territory here and subject matter like this needs a light touch in order not to become disturbing or repulsive. Something along the lines of the first season of the iZombie TV series is a good example of the right touch for instance (I think the later seasons jumped the shark though). Debut novelist Braithwaite handles the material well as it bounces from its Desperate Nurses of Lagos subplots to the sisterhood rivalry and bond at its heart.

What bumps this into 4-5 star territory is the hidden subplot that is written into the dozen or so "Father" chapters that are scattered throughout the book. These are in flashbacks and are not arranged chronologically, so that is why I am describing it as hidden. Saying very much more would be getting into spoiler territory, so I'll just say that you should try to assemble them into chronological order and read them separately from the rest as if they were a prequel. If you can't be bothered to do that, then just imagine for yourself what is the journey that is taken from the ending of pg. 216 (that ends on the word "first") to the end of the first paragraph on pg. 80 (that ends on the word "over.") You should notice the use of the word "Eventually" in the middle of that paragraph and think about what that means i.e. It is "Eventually" after what?

Although originally a Nigerian eBook, this was not translated from Yoruba but was apparently always written in English. Oyinkan Braithwaite gives a shout-out in the Acknowledgements to author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ for her assistance with the accents in the occasional Yoruba words. ( )
  alanteder | Mar 17, 2019 |
Oh I can tell you right now, this book is certainly accurate on an exaggerated level the relationship between older and younger sisters. I had to research if the writer has siblings and she has three, including two younger sisters (I thought it obvious -- and I'm sorry there are two of them.) I don't know WHY parents do this, but the younger sister usually receives preferential treatment and then if the older sister points this out, it is almost always blamed on jealously (well, treat them the same then): "I am responsible for Ayoola. That’s how it has always been. Ayoola would break a glass, and I would receive the blame for giving her the drink. Ayoola would fail a class, and I would be blamed for not coaching her. Ayoola would take an apple and leave the store without paying for it, and I would be blamed for letting her get hungry." (page 59) For sisterly relationships, this book gets an A+.
However, I must admit, that any book with 'serial killer' in the title might not be the book for me. I just can't seem to be invested in a book about a casual murderer. I remain at a distance. It's like how I could watch a comedy about death but I can't laugh at a comedy about murder. Poor Korede just needed to separate herself from her sister, but like the paragraph above, she was trained to worry more about her sister than herself. I think the book worked because the main character is an older sister as the writer is an older sister. She knows enough about sisters (even if her sisters may be great people). The sister didn't need to be a serial killer. The sisters here were like an exaggerated Elinor and Marianne from Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility. But then again, Marianne WAS very drama. The book is short, concise, to the point, and hints at many underlying issues under the surface. This certainly shows that Braithwaite has some skills. I will be paying attention and hopefully the next one won't be about killers. ( )
  booklove2 | Mar 13, 2019 |
Nice job, Oyinkan. A short and sweet, highly entertaining domestic thriller. Whom would you choose? ( )
  Gezemice | Mar 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oyinkan Braithwaiteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Oduye, AdeperoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windsor, Michael J.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my family, whom I love very much:

Akin, Tokunbo, Obafunke, Siji, Ore
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Ayoola summons me with these words -- Korede, I killed him.
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