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Summary

An Observer, Time Magazine and New York Times Book of the Year.

A Reese Witherspoon's Book Club Pick.

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. Afi's future doesn't seem to hold much excitement. Until, that is, she is offered a life-changing opportunity - a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo.

She barely knows Elikem, but that seems a small price to pay for a marriage that could offer her family financial security, as well as the key to the glitzy city lifestyle she's always wanted. But when Afi arrives in Accra, she realises that her fairy-tale ending might not be all that she'd hoped for. Now she must balance the often conflicting roles of wife, daughter, niece and sister-in-law, without losing sight of herself. 

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.

©2021 Peace Adzo Medie (P)2021 W F Howes

Critic reviews

"I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast.... It's all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are." (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)

"This stirring tale sings when Afi learns to flex her limited power." (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about His Only Wife

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Very good book

Loved the story sympathetically written. My only criticism would be that the narration should have been done with an Ghanaian narrator not an white sounding American. The characters would have sounded more realistic and give a much authentic feel to the book. Then would have rated excellent book audio book, rather than just good.

7 people found this helpful

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brilliant

good listen - could not "put it down" - would have loved to hear a Ghanaian accent though

4 people found this helpful

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Good story

It was a great story however my only little niggle is the narration… it’s set in Ghana so it would have been great to hear a Ghanaian narrating with a Ghanaian accent, rather than an American accent. As a Ghanaian, there were times I winced upon certain pronunciations. The story would have felt a lot more authentic if they just for a Ghanaian with the accent to narrate… otherwise it was a good story

3 people found this helpful

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Look forward to reading the next book from Medie

Afi, the protagonist, is inspiring as she increasingly shows she is strong, smart, resourceful and brave. But I felt troubled by her desperation to please and control her husband, and in the process unwittingly manipulate. It left me wondering whether she was driven by love or infatuation and that if she was slightly less obsessed with getting what she wanted, she might have seen much earlier what was really going on.

I totally agree with other listeners that it would have been good to hear the book read in a Ghanaian accent. Whilst the narrator has a clear style and a lovely voice, the intonation in the reading embued a sense of drama into almost every sentence. This wasn't necessary and it made it feel more American.

Although I'm not sure if I would recommend this book, I look forward to reading Peace Medie's next one. The characters and relationships are very human and the descriptions conjure up clear and colourful imagery, particularly of clothes and food. Delicious!

1 person found this helpful

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Good story

Just like everyone else I would’ve preferred a Ghanaian accent, but the narrator did well. I loved that it was a story about the heart, and emotion and life, not action! It was melo dramatic but so relatable for so many women. I really enjoyed it and the protagonist surprised me a lot. Her flaws were very human!

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voice annoying, didn't like this book at all!

Didn't like it narraters voice annoying. should be more interesting yo listen to with an African voice.

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Very slow

The story was extremely slow, nothing much happened at all. The main character went from a village girl to a high flying business women with no real explanation as to how this happened. The performance was very distracting, the narrator seemed surprised by the mundane sentences and despite being set in Ghana, everyone had an American accent.

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  • NR
  • 21-11-21

Fantastic book

I have the hard copy as well. It's a brilliant book and can highly recommend.

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Powerful

So powerful and example setting story of an internal strong woman that would not settle. Interesting learning about the culture.

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Unexpected Story about women demanding more

I wasn’t sure what to expect but by the time it was over, I was so happy I read it. At it’s core this book felt like a story about a woman demanding more than what society felt she should be grateful for. I connected so firmly to her desire to be loved the same she loved others and it was so wonderful to listen to. What a great story.

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  • B_Feela
  • 28-06-22

Performance

The performance took some getting used to I nearly quit the book after the first chapter but then I got used to it. I really enjoyed the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-22

I was thoroughly entertained

Loved this story , I had a couple of false starts simply because I couldnt get into the book the first few chapters, but when I finally did, I enjoyed this book.
I have lately realized I am very critical of filler content in a book and this did not miss its share of unnecessary info that neither added nor subtracted from the overall story.

First off, I could not imagine marrying a husband who could not be bothered to show up.... I mean, how desperate could I be to agree to such an arrangement? I pitied Afi at some point, but i am glad she grew a spine and left that husband of hers Eli, and his controlling mother. Come to think of it I remember listening to this book and realizing it read a lot like a west african movie, but it was captivating enough to get to the very end. I kept hoping someone would stand up to Eli's domineering mother.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-01-22

I felt like I was in Ghana!

I kept telling my husband and daughter about the story. I couldn't stop talking about Affy. I felt like I was her. And wanted her to win so much!

Such a great book. The narrator did a wonderful job!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-01-22

Great story, Horrible narration

Respectfully i find it quite offensive when the narrator cannot pronounce African words. Such a beautiful story but the narration is dreadful.