My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The Books and Desserts Book Club read My Sister the Serial Killer last month. We are on to theApril book but I am still trying to understand Korede. Korede’s character speaks to a behavioural trait that I have seen in many people and even in myself. We set moral standards that accommodate our character and set others up for judgement.

I don’t know whether or not they have the tech for a thorough crime scene investigation in Lagos, but Ayoola could never clean up as efficiently as I can. Pg. 4

This book tells the story of two sisters and yes, one is a serial killer. It’s not a metaphor – she kills men she dates. The book does not elaborate on her trigger or mental illness (if that’s the case) but Ayoola is a serial killer. Korede her older sister and the narrator presents herself and her insecurities throughout the book. Her insecurities she says are stemmed in her looks. Ayoola is supposedly more beautiful than her, attracting all the men and locking down the spotlight. The reader is drawn to sympathise with Korede for multiple reasons: undue responsibility as the first child, inability to get her doctor crush to reciprocate her love/desires, lack of attention from her parents and having to clean up after Ayoola’s murders.

“The knife is important to me, Korede. It is all I have left of him.” P.36

Truth be told, I read the book despising Ayoola as she is a selfish, insensitive and a totally ridiculous girl alongside wanting more for Korede as I read on. Then recently in my book flashback moment, I wondered : Is Korede really a better person that Ayoola? I really don’t think so. I do think they are both victims of an abusive and unstable home. Their childhood was an unfortunate experience and their personalities were birthed in their dysfunctional upbringing. However, Korede tells their story depicting Ayoola as bad, evil and dangerous and herself as a victim of circumstances. Hmmmm….From the reader’s speculation that Korede killed their father, to the opening chapter where she helps Ayoola clean up after a murder, to her ransacking Tade’s office, I don’t know about other readers but Korede is no saint to me. If you are friends with either sisters, better watch your back.

He will kill us,” she sobbed. “Not if we kill him first. P.216

Korede reminds me of folks who are constantly judging other folks and take no time in evaluating their own life choices. Its easy to justify the wrong we do but there is nothing wrong in the persecution of others. That ain’t right. Should we walk away when we see wrong , live and let live? Not really, call out evil and injustice but spend more time working and on yourself and improving your choices than on calling out others.

Love! Korede and Muhtar would have been a beautiful love story but it was never explored in the book. It would have been interesting to see how she would have handled love, attention and a relationship. This and many more stories, I wish the authored deepened. The short tales of situations give the reader a lot of room to speculate, making it a great bookclub read. Korede and Ayoola’s mother !!! Was she always on Ambien as Korede shared. Did she really not know what was happening under her roof or just transfixed on the pursuit of marriage, asoebi and grandchildren? Oyikan! tell us more.

“Ayoola is dating a doctor!” Mum announces P.81

Other themes the book explores include sisterhood, responsibility placed on the first born children, relationships, what men want, favouritism in the home, mental illness and the glamour of Lagos City.

And big sisters look after little sisters. P.130

I loved the book, loved the author’s seamless writing style, loved the depiction of Nigerian culture and love love love how the author uses humor to tell such a dysfunctional dark tale.

They come to the hospital for healing and, sometimes, it’s not just their bodies that need attention. P.50

SomachiSpeaks Ratings: 4/5


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