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His Only Wife




‘A Crazy Rich Asians for West Africa.’ Kirkus, starred review

‘Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.’

Afi Tekple is a young seamstress living in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother. Even Afi doesn’t believe her future holds much excitement. Until one day she is offered a life-changing opportunity – a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo, a man she barely knows. Marriage could be the key to the life she's always wanted, but when she meets Eli, she realises her fairy-tale ending might not be so straightforward. Elikem is not quite the catch he first seemed, and his affections are otherwise engaged. As she balances the often conflicting roles of wife, daughter, niece and sister-in-law, Afi starts to question whether she has made the right choice.

Bursting with warmth and humour, His Only Wife is a witty, smart and moving comedy-of-manners about the search for independence, and the rules that might have to be broken along the way.

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (September 1, 2020)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861540709

'Culture, heroism and the search for independence are just a few of the wonderful themes in this vibrant book.'

– Reese Witherspoon

'Mesmerising... This is not a book to read with one eye on a beach volleyball tournament; it’s a story to soak up in silence, on a long, cloudy afternoon when you have time to think.'

– New York Times

'A hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut.'

– Wayetu Moore, author of She Would Be King

'I couldn't put down His Only Wife, which made me nostalgic for the food, frills, and folly of Ghana. Peace Adzo Medie's sentences are packed with muscle, beauty, and hilarity. Even though I was rooting for Afi's happiness in her arranged marriage, I didn’t see that beauty of a twist coming at the end.'

– Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of The Deep Blue Between

'A Cinderella story set in Ghana... A Crazy Rich Asians for West Africa, with a healthy splash of feminism.'

– Kirkus (starred review)

'In her debut novel, Medie writes with a precise rhythm that builds the reader’s anticipation. Themes like deception, ambition, love, and values drench the pages with conflict that evolves into an emotional rollercoaster.'

– Booklist

'This stirring tale sings when Afi learns to flex her limited power.'

– Publishers Weekly

'Afi's charm makes her an empowering example of modern womanhood... Its message bold and its viewpoint appealing, His Only Wife is an inspiring novel.'

– Foreword Reviews

'Medie gives Afi a voice that winningly combines insecurity, wisdom and dignity... The dramas of Afi's marriage and various family conflicts offer an entertaining plot rich with humour, but it is the story of the strong woman in a challenging and changing world that will capture readers' hearts. His Only Wife is a memorable novel of personal growth and choosing one's own destiny... [A] winning debut.'

– Shelf Awareness

'A fierce and funny debut novel... A deeply engrossing chronicle of contemporary Ghanaian womanhood.'

– Minneapolis Star Tribune

'A fierce and funny first novel...[that] cleverly upends a Cinderella story into a tale of feminism.'

– People

'A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose... Medie depicts a vivid and dazzling Accra, and it's impossible not to root for Afi as she finds her footing within it.'

– BuzzFeed

'In her sparkling debut novel, Ghanaian writer and academic Peace Adzo Medie uses humour, candour and feminism to examine womanhood, marriage and agency in modern Ghana.'

– Ms. Magazine

'A witty Cinderella portrait of modern life and love.'

– Parade

'A unique and unapologetic marriage story that shines with honesty, humanity, power and grace: once you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down. Medie's urgent, intimate voice is exactly what the world needs right now.'

– Mathangi Subramanian, author of A People's History of Heaven

'Combining heart and humour with a hearty dose of feminism, Peace Adzo Medie's debut is an illuminating and empowering read with a heroine you will remember for a long time.'

– Book Reporter

'A fierce and funny study of modern womanhood within Ghanaian culture.'

– Cosmopolitan: Best Books of Autumn, 2020

'Medie belongs to a long line of talented women writers who show [Ghana's] rich culture and history to be bountiful sources of inspiration.'

– Book Browse