“That’s how it has always been. Ayoola would break a glass, and I would receive the blame for giving her the drink. Ayoola would fail a class, and I would be blamed for not coaching her. Ayoola would take an apple and leave the store without paying for it, and I would be blamed for letting her get hungry.”
Korede has a secret, one which she can’t talk to anyone about, her sister has killed again! Upon receiving a frantic call from her sister Ayoola, Korede learns that Ayoola has killed her third boyfriend. As with those before, he was violent and abusive in a way that no-one else saw, what poor luck for Ayoola to pick these men.
My Sister, the Serial Killer follows Korede as she dutifully takes care of her younger sister, giving up her own dreams of happiness in the process. Whilst working as a nurse in Lagos, Korede has made a career out of cleaning up other people’s messes, both literally and figuratively. Often being told she will make someone a wonderful wife, Korede lives in the shadow of her beautiful sister, who is always being pursued by male suitors.
Whilst the title is quite literal when looking at the plot of My Sister, the Serial Killer, this book is anything but a gory slasher story. At its heart, Oyinkan Braithwaite sets out to explore the ties that bound sisters, and the obligation one feels to protect their siblings. Set in Nigeria Braithwaite delves into the expectations placed on Korede and Ayoola due to the patriarchal society, including the importance placed on marriage and how one be perceived in public. Additionally, bringing to light the corruption of the police force, and how it affects their day to day lives. My Sister, the Serial Killer is not just simply a tale of a serial killer, but an examination of how our society can mould our future.
This thriller with elements of dark humour seeks to broaden what is considered a contemporary thriller beyond a western expectation and does so extremely well. As a side note, I highly recommend the audiobook if you have the opportunity, the narrator is absolutely fantastic.
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