cover image Nightbloom


Peace Adzo Medie. Algonquin, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-64375-284-6

Medie (His Only Wife) focuses on the complex relationship between two Ghanaian women in this poignant outing. Akorfa and her cousin Selasi were best friends as children, but a rift develops after they begin boarding school, where Akorfa benefits from her family’s support, including private tutors. Eventually, she leaves for the University of Pittsburgh, where she experiences various episodes of racism, beginning when her roommate’s parents automatically assume she’s there on a scholarship. After graduation, she lands a job at an NGO in Washington, D.C., marries a cardiologist, and has children. The second part tells Selasi’s story, detailing her struggles after her mother died and her father abandoned her. When she is sent to live with Akorfa’s family, Akorfa’s mother treats Selasi like a servant and Akorfa turns a blind eye. After boarding school, Selasi becomes a successful restaurateur in Ghana and marries a politician. Medie unfurls major revelations in the third part, when Selasi and Akorfa reunite in Ghana and learn they were each similarly traumatized as children, prompting them to reexamine their long-held bitterness toward each other. Though there’s a bit too much exposition, Medie keenly explores the nuances of the women’s friendship and their misplaced blame. This is worth a look. Agent: Kiele Raymond, Thompson Literary Agency. (June)