Envy, murder and polygamy

The Secret Lives of the Four Wives by Lola Shoneyin tackles the subject of polygamous marriage. The story is set in Nigeria where polygamy is still allowed. Shoneyin paints a horrifying picture of the competitive nature of polygamy and how it twists the lives of women who are forced into it.
 
Bolanle is a university graduate with a terrible secret. She tries to escape her horrible guilt by marrying Baba Segi and becoming his fourth wife. Bolanle has no idea of the snake pit that she will be thrown into when she becomes the fourth wife. The other wives are threatened by her education. And even though Baba Segi is a generous and easy-going husband by local standards, he is unaware of the turmoil, hate, and secrets that rule his household.
 
This is riveting tale of jealousy, hatred, murdered, and secrets. It is also a masterful picture of how polygamy twists the lives and personalities of the women and children who are part of it. I could not put down The Secret Lives of the Four Wives.  You’ll never look at shows like Sister Wives or Big Love the same way again.
 
(Note: According to the publisher, The Secret Lives of the Four Wives was published in 2010 in a slightly-altered form as The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.)
 
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