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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Sex and the City with a killer edge for fans of Queenie, Expectation and My Sister, the Serial Killer.

See me, see trouble

Ronke, Simi and Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English, though they don't all choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their 30s, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her 'urban vibe' yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past, arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.

Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on love, race and family, Wahala will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Boldly political about class, colourism and cooking, here is a truly inclusive tale that will speak to anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.

©2021 Nikki May (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about Wahala

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A slow but thrilling story of obsession

I really enjoyed the unexpected turn the book had but felt like it was a sudden plunge after what had been a smooth and slow ride. That said I think that was the point. I think the characters were brilliant. Truly enjoyed the book.

6 people found this helpful

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You will not be disappointed!

Excellent debut novel! loveable characters who are really brought to life. Got through this book in one day. Brilliant twist at the end.

4 people found this helpful

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Brilliant story line

Amazing book by Nikki May. Bring Nigeria/ London to life and brings you directly into the girls lives.
Awaiting 2nd one already

3 people found this helpful

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Wow where do I even begin?

As a mixed race woman myself to see representation of myself in book form was so exciting for me. And wow am I disappointed.
There’s a myriad of issues to unpack but I’ll stick to what to me were the most troublesome:

1. Despite trying to depict Boo’s self loathing of her black side and her stereotypes of them are wrong. Although this one of many things on the book that are touched on but never fully explored. But EVERY and I mean EVERY black/Nigerian man in this book is depicted as lazy, cruel and/or a cheat. This is especially egregious when compared to the two white male characters who are depicted as gentle, loving and kind.

2. The sizism against Ronke not only does it depict an average size woman (U.K. 14) as “fat” they continually make jabs against her weight. And they make her the one who is shown always talking about/wanting food and being the one they go to for cooked food. It also doesn’t help that Ronke is the one depicted as most in touch with her Nigerian side of the lot. So again seems to perpetuate the more “black” you are the more messed up and undesirable.

3. The character of Boo is depicted as so unlikeable and self involved even Ronke and Simi say in their POV chapters that you don’t feel any sympathy for her when she makes bad choices. She’s already a cow why should the reader care if she implodes her own life?

4. The climax/ big revelations are so unrealistic they beggar belief. And comes out of nowhere. Everyone starts acting out of character. These three are supposed to be educated accomplished women and not one of them thought of bringing a recording device or going to the police? Isobel calls them “half wits” and I honestly have to agree


Overall I expected better nuanced depiction of being biracial even within the context of a crime thriller and find myself disappointed to see it was underwhelming read that perpetuated a few toxic tropes that so many mixed race women are learning to overcome.
Natalie Simpson does a good job at distinguishing the voices but overall I’d say this is one to skip especially as a POC.

2 people found this helpful

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Binged this and loved it!

A fabulous story with humour, drama and and so much relatable content: have recommended to several friends. Binged it in two days as I had to hear the ending!

2 people found this helpful

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A brilliant story

I absolutely enjoyed listening to this book. It brought to life some beautiful memories of Nigeria for me. I love how the author cleverly merges the 2 cultures of being Nigerian and British but from the perspective of being mixed race. The story is so relatable and you literally feel like you know the characters personally. I wasn’t too sure about the ending but overall, I thought it was a brilliant book. I highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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Captivating

My only criticism is that once you start listening you can't stop! A great listen.

2 people found this helpful

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If you're looking for drama - you'll find it here!

A juicy listen. And I applaud the narrator for the way they handle a very diverse set of characters!

2 people found this helpful

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Not for me

I returned this book after 9 chapters. I felt very much it was written a much younger demographic than me (56) The story was painfully slow. In the write up it was compared to “My Sister the Serial Killer” which I very much enjoyed. In fact it was nothing like this apart from some of the characters where Nigerian. I never give bad reviews but this was awful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ST
  • 03-02-22

OK, bit predictable and pointless

Not a 'who dunnit'. Not a tale of love or of friendship, or of the mixed girls' experience in London. While it touches on all three, the touch is inconsequential to the story. The characters themselves were refreshing and very different from each other, they were almost relatable. The villain was a cliché and obvious from the beginning so the story ended up being listening to the frustratingly silly mistakes of the characters and waiting for just a bit of feel good that never properly arrived.

1 person found this helpful