Thicker Than Water

Thicker Than WaterPulpy, Peppery And Sinister, Served Up In A Comic DeadpanThis Scorpion Tailed Little Thriller Leaves A Response, And A Sting, You Will RememberNEW YORK TIMES The Wittiest And Most Fun Murder Party You Ve Ever Been Invited ToMARIE CLAIRELONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 WOMEN S PRIZEA Short, Darkly Funny, Hand Grenade Of A Novel About A Nigerian Woman Whose Younger Sister Has A Very Inconvenient Habit Of Killing Her BoyfriendsFemi Makes Three, You Know Three And They Label You A Serial Killer Korede Is Bitter How Could She Not Be Her Sister, Ayoola, Is Many Things The Favorite Child, The Beautiful One, Possibly Sociopathic And Now Ayoola S Third Boyfriend In A Row Is Dead.Korede S Practicality Is The Sisters Saving Grace She Knows The Best Solutions For Cleaning Blood, The Trunk Of Her Car Is Big Enough For A Body, And She Keeps Ayoola From Posting Pictures Of Her Dinner To Instagram When She Should Be Mourning Her Missing Boyfriend Not That She Gets Any Credit.Korede Has Long Been In Love With A Kind, Handsome Doctor At The Hospital Where She Works She Dreams Of The Day When He Will Realize That She S Exactly What He Needs But When He Asks Korede For Ayoola S Phone Number, She Must Reckon With What Her Sister Has Become And How Far She S Willing To Go To Protect Her.Sharp As Nails And Full Of Deadpan Wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite S Deliciously Deadly Debut Is As Fun As It Is Frightening. Clever novel about two sisters, one of whom is a serial killer, the other the resentful, yearning enabler The satirical bent works really well here because it walks that fine line of being, given the contretemps, entirely plausible Interesting observations about social media, men and what they want, and women who see right through them Well worth a read. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a 2018 Doubleday Books publication Genius That provocative title and amazing cover art certainly piques one s curiosity Noticing all the positive reactions the book received, I just had to see for myself if it was worth all the kudos Well, I have to say, this is my kind of book Seriously, I really, really, really love satire and dark humor I do understand it is often an acquired taste, but it takes a special kind of creativity and balance to pull it off Dark humor and satire are often very subtle and if you aren t in on the joke, it can sail right over your head It requires a little effort, from the reader, too, on occasion, and that is the case with this book.Family is supposed to help one another out, right Set in Nigeria, amid a corrupt system of law and order, Korede is forever coming to the aid of her beautiful, but kooky, younger sister, Ayoola, who has a bad habit of killing her boyfriends She always claims self defense, but she s never injured, and her conscience never seems to suffer Korede, is a borderline, antisocial nurse, comfortable around her comatose patient, to whom she bears her soul, than with anyone else She has a crush on Tade, a doctor she works closely with However, when Ayoola shows up at the hospital to visit her sister, Tade is immediately smitten with her So, not only is Korede hurt emotionally, with her sister s history with men to consider, this development is quite troubling Deep down, Korede is angry, jealous of her beautiful, favored sister, but she always comes to her rescue Ayoola is self absorbed, flaunting her beauty, and appears not to notice the stress and strain she causes Korede.Both sisters are flawed, with abominable character traits, but at the same time, they both managed to, inconceivably, elicit sympathy from me The author creates a unique brand of suspense, an ever present sense of dread, while toying with the readers emotions The social commentary could be at the core of the story, perhaps playing a key role in the sisters pathos I cannot imagine her resorting to stabbing if that particular knife were not in her hand almost as if it were the knife and not her that was doing the killing But then, is that so hard to believe Who is to say that an object does not come with its own agenda Or that the collective agenda of its previous owners does not direct its purpose still There s much to ponder on in this amazing debut novel Kordede s stoic inner thoughts stole the show for me, though The story is meant to be dark, meant to be taken seriously, but so sardonic, it is morbidly funny at times But, one thing is for certain, this author has done an incredible job creating these wickedly entertaining characters, adding rich layers to the story, while keeping the prose pointed and sharp, even minimal, and still manages to add the rarity of humor into the mix with perfect balance and poise I simply could not tear my eyes off the pages It is also a rarity for me to say I liked a book better than I thought I would, but this one caught me completely off guard Overall, I am mightily impressed with this stunning, but unsettling debut, and yes, it deserves the kudos Femi makes three, you know Three, and they label you a serial killer. In case you haven t noticed, Oyinkan Braithwaite s My Sister, the Serial Killer has been taking the social media scene by storm the past few weeks And I get it the cover art is pardon my pun killer and the title exudes a certain titillation that will make a reader quickly reach for the book on the shelf For me, My Sister, the Serial Killer, was an easy, brisk read that I mostly read in one sitting And I was additionally excited to read it when I realized that the author and I graduated from the same university in England and likely had the same creative writing instructors The short chapters some only a few sentences long created the effect of breezing through the novel at record speed, which is a plus, but it also created a few issues for this narrative.Oyinkan Braithwaite s debut novel follows sisters Ayoola and Korede Ayoola kills em and Korede cleans em up But this isn t just a novel about the boyfriends falling like flies it s a novel about the trials and bonds of sisterhood, an exploration of childhood abuse and a would be love story all wrapped up tightly in the culture of Lagos, Nigeria Now, that s a lot to try to cram into 240 not even full pages, but it can be done I ve even seen it done well Here, I wasn t mind blowingly impressed by the execution again, couldn t resist of My Sister, the Serial Killer If you re a reader who puts a lot of weight on pace, you might find that you re in for a rather jerky ride with this novel It flowed neither at a lyrically smooth pace nor at a heart pounding thriller pace It just sort of jerked from scene to scene with very little, if any, narrative connective tissue to sew the chapters seamlessly together In short, while it a had a great plot and an ending that did manage to surprise me, it was not written with a lot of finesse It read, to me, like a very first draft, not quite filled in enough to give us readers an entire picture It was like a well done sketch of artistry that hasn t yet been filled in with color, like the structure of a building that has not yet been painted and offered windows and balconies Now, ONWARD to the pros that you ll find within these pages, because there are several of those For one, it was a plus that this novel read so fast While the plotting was jerky, the pace was quick, and that pulls you in to the story fast as you realize that you re already so deep into it with so little time spent on it And one of the real gems of My Sister was how Braithwaite interlaced the heart pounding narrative of the killings themselves with the humor of said serial killer s indifference and feigned naivet There is music blasting from Ayoola s room She is listening to Whitney Houston s I Wanna Dance with Somebody It would be appropriate to play Brymo or Lourde, something solemn or yearning, rather than the musical equivalent of a pack of MMs This novel is fully current, with narrative tools and chapter titles like Instagram Ayoola is addicted to SnapChat and Instagram, often being scolded by Korede for posting frivolous updates for her followers when she s supposed to be mourning her missing boyfriend, whom she herself has killed Ayoola has forgotten, just that quickly about the fallen men and goes on with her life in a way that baffles her sister enter The Comedy So, while I wished that My Sister, the Serial Killer was better built out as a narrative, there is merit to it as a quick, amusing little read It all comes down to what you re looking for on your TBR If you re interested in a narrative set in Nigeria, this may be a great pick for you If you re looking for lightness and humor, a read you can breeze through easily that still offers some suspense, then you ve absolutely come to the right place But, if you re in the market for a side of intellectual stimulation with your killer thriller, then you may want to side step this one you want find a lot of that here 3 stars I received an advance read copy of this book from the publisher, Doubleday, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.FOLLOW ME AT The Navi Review Blog Twitter Instagram Now, that s what I call a damn good story Wow Where do I even start Firstly, the story, coupled with the setting, alongside the characters, all resonate at a level only a fellow Nigerian would understand Besides all that, the plot itself is unique, the prose is crisp and evocative the characters, multilayered Then there s that dry sardonic humour that Braithwaite sprinkles throughout the story, causing me to laugh out loud when I probably should have been aghast Additionally, what Braithwaite does with the titular characters the ditzy yet extremely manipulative serial killer Ayoola, and her long suffering, perpetually angsty sister Korede, is nothing short of magical Love, love, love 4, the sisterhood of the travelingserial killer stars Full review featured on my blog Recipe a Read I finished this quite a bit ago, so I m going to do my best to remember everything I thought about this book This is at it s heart a story about two sisters, Korede and Ayoola Korede is pragmatic, level headed and sensible Her sister Ayoola, is none of these things Ayoola is rash, beautiful, vibrant, the favored child and deeply irresponsible Oh, also did I mention she s a sociopath Yeah, well that too This story takes place in Braithwaite s birthplace of Nigera and follows these two sisters through a series of situations Ayoola thrusts them into.You re a big sister now, Korede And big sisters look after little sisters.You see, while Korede loves her sister and protects her, things get a little out of hand as Ayoola continues to make choices that leaves Korede having to clean up her messes literally and figuratively Korede is a nurse, and above all her practicality is the sisters saving grace She knows all the best ways to clean up blood, her trunk is big enough to fit a body and not only that but when Ayoola wants to do crazy stuff, like posting pictures of her food when she should be mourning her dead boyfriend, she stops her from that too Korede is a good sister, if covering up your siblings murders is what makes you a good sibling.However, things change when Korede s long time crush a kind, handsome doctor who works at her hospital, Tade, asks Korede not for her number, but for Ayoola s Ayoola has shown no remorse for her actions, she s simply moved on and is keen to get over her dead ex, by getting under some one new As Korede stands helplessly by, watching Ayoola seduce Tade with her charisma, charm and beauty she struggles with her wish to leave this life and her obligation to look out for her sister Korede, having no one to confide in, turns to a comatose patient and she grapples with the knowledge that if she does nothing she is well aware of what the outcome of this new relationship will be.It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially if you don t want to leave any evidence of foul play This was quite a different type of story than I anticipated when I first added it to my TBR and when I first started reading it At just 226 pages, this baby packs a serious punch Not only that, but as Braithwaite s debut novel I am left feeling incredibly impressed by the skill and finesse shown in weaving this story The layered characters she created were fresh and vibrantly written most notably Korede Braithwaite wrote Korede in a way that you could deeply feel for her plight especially if you know the bonds of siblings but at the same time, I regularly found myself wanting to shake Korede as hard as I can and yell in her face WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS, GIRL, THIS DUMB This also had a very dark, campy humor that I found utterly refreshing.Ayoola has her knife on her, since she carries it the way other women carry tampons.In the end, I adored this story and am excited for future works by Braithwaite However, there were a few things that left me wanting, just a bit First, the chapters are very choppy This is a short book, and I absolutely flew through it, but I wish the read had been a little fluid and less jerky While I appreciated the social commentary on societies obsession with beauty especially since beauty, in general is fleeting and society equates beauty and youth it did get a little tedious to focus on so much I wish there had been just a bit depth to their differences, instead of focusing so much on appearance The ending quite surprised me, which I ve found rare these days but I also wish this aspect had been fleshed out just a bit All in all, I think this is definitely one to add to your list, or read it if it s already there I can t pinpoint the exact moment I realized that Ayoola was beautiful and I wasnot But what I do know is that I was aware of my own inadequacies long before Korede is a nurse in Nigeria, dedicated to her patients and well respected by her superiors But no matter what her achievements are, she knows she ll always play second fiddle to her younger sister, Ayoola Ayoola is the pretty one, the favorite and she s a psychotic murderer.One night Ayoola summons Korede to her boyfriend s house Ayoola says he attacked her and in self defense, she stabbed him It doesn t matter what the facts really are who would disbelieve Ayoola Korede is the sensible one, the calm one, the logical one who takes charge of the situation She knows how to clean up the blood so no traces are found She knows how to get rid of the body It seems she has had a great deal of practice with this sort of thing, since this is the third boyfriend Ayoola has killed Femi makes three, you know Three and they label you a serial killer Ayoola isn t the slightest bit remorseful about what happened She s ready to move on, find another man to charm Korede thinks she should lie low for a while, even though she knows it won t be long before Ayoola bats her eyes and men will come running But this time Ayoola sets her sights a bit closer to home, as she alights on Tade, a handsome, kind doctor Korede works with He s also the doctor that Korede has been secretly in love with, but she knows she s no match for Ayoola s charms.As Korede watches Ayoola ensnare Tade, she feels powerless and frustrated What she wants than anything is just to reveal her sister s nefarious side, but she knows Ayoola will turn the evidence against her She wishes she could just escape this life, but she has an obligation to protect her sister With no one to turn to, she vents her anger and fears to the only person who will listen a patient who has been in a comatose state for years But she knows all too well what will happen if she doesn t stop it I am the older sister I am responsible for Ayoola 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 My Sister, the Serial Killer is a darkly funny yet disturbing story of familial obligation It packs a powerful punch for a book that is less than 300 pages long, and that is because Oyinkan Braithwaite has created two complex, fascinating, not necessarily likable characters You get glimpses of family history in order to understand where Ayoola developed her murderous tendencies You both feel for Korede and want to shake her for allowing herself to be so fully manipulated More than that, however, you ll want to know how this book ends I had lots of suspicions and wasn t disappointed where Braithwaite took her story It s certainly a troubling book about a woman so fully overshadowed by her sister that she s forced down a path she never would have taken, but it s also commentary on how unfairly women are compared to one another, with the most attractive one almost always winning out.I really enjoyed this, and read the entire book in a day It certainly is a bit farcical, yet at the same time, you could believe this actually might happen, particularly in a society that treats women as second class citizens Braithwaite s storytelling was dead on no pun intended , and I look forward to seeing what comes next for her career See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at 4.5 rounded up I discovered this novel by accident while I was browsing the longlist for Orange Women Prize I had no intention to read any of the proposed books since this year I don t feel I have the time to follow awards but the title immediately caught my eye After reading the blurb I just knew I had to buy it and I left everything else I had started for this one I am so glad I did because it was such a pleasant surprise I should let myself carried away by my instincts often What is it about except the obvious, a sister who is a serial killer Well, I think one of the main questions that I was left with is Is the enabler as guilty as the perpetrator In my opinion, yes, but you should make up your own mind It is also a novel about loyalty and its limits, family dynamics and loveKorede, a plain woman, is a nurse at a hospital in Lagos Her sister, Ayoola is a local beauty, a fashion designer and a serial killer of her boyfriends Whenever she murders another boo in self defence she calls her hygiene obsessed sister to help her clean up the mess Korede has some issues with her conscience but when her boss to whom she is in love falls for Ayoola, things become complicated It s because she is beautiful, you know That s all it is They don t really care about the rest of it She gets a pass at life Although the story is structured in very short chapters and the writing style is clean and simple I was impacted by the structure The story alternated between the present and the narration of the family history which might or might not explain Ayoola s behaviour.There are some subtle tones of dark humour, my favourite kind, so this novel was right up my alley The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces They force us to destroy the person we really are a subtle kind of murder Set in Nigeria, My Sister, the Serial Killer follows dependable Korede and her younger sister, Ayoola, who oops occasionally murders people Braithwaite s debut ranges from wry and macabre to predicable and stale She lures her audience with two striking opening lines, and the first few chapters promise a sinster tale of deadpan humor and sly coverups, but the book quickly succumbs to familiar tropes the beautiful, can do nothing wrong younger sister and the older, less attractive sibling bearing the brunt of responsibility a woman so beautiful men just want to be with her and two women fighting over the same man Aside from taking a satirical approach to murder, there s nothing subersive about this book Its a tale of performing unspeakable acts in the name of self preservation and sisterhood whose twists and conclusion are forseeable however, it s a quick read with occasional hints of humor My Sister, the Serial Killer is best approached as a small snack for an amusing afternoon the kind of book one should check out from the library, swallow in two bites, and promptly return I bet you didn t know that bleach masks the smell of blood Most people use bleach indiscriminately, assuming it is a catchall product, never taking the time to read the list of ingredients on the back, never taking the time to return to the recently wiped surface to take a closer look Bleach will disinfect, but it s not great for cleaning residue, so I use it only after I have first scrubbed the bathroom of all traces of life, and death. FIVE STARS I LOVE THIS Femi makes three, you know Three and they label you a serial killer Ok, truth here this is not a suspenseful thriller, despite the enticing title It IS a novel about family dynamics, love between sisters and loyalty to the ones that matter in your life The minute I started this short, richly dark and funny book, I was HOOKED It is elegant and lovely, all gorgeous words on a page Set in Nigeria, very up to the minute contemporary, and oh so addictive The story centers around a beautiful 20 something that is so alluring, every man falls in love with her at first sight Unfortunately for them, our pretty girl tends to murder the man after she grows tired of him Her older sister is the slightly bitter one, responsible with a full time job and a neatnik cleaning fetish This comes in handy since her little sis calls her after every murder to help clean up and dispose of the body.DOES THIS SOUND CRAZY Yes, it is And like I said, I love it I don t think it is for everyone, but if you are open minded and adventurous in your reading, I highly recommend it It is actually a very sweet story with just a bit of a sting The audio version is superb I could listen to that gorgeous Nigerian accent all day long 3.5 stars rounded up My Sister, the Serial Killer is a unique novella following the perspective of a young woman, Korede, living in Lagos, Nigeria Heavy emphasis on the word novella.Korede is a nurse and seems to lead a fairly normal life she is on the straight and narrow, if you will Normal until you discover that Korede s younger sister, Ayoola, kills all of her boyfriends and then Korede cleans up the mess You re a big sister now, Korede And big sisters look after little sisters Apparently, this is the sentiment that Korede was raised with and now, no matter what her sister does, she feels obligated to PROTECT HER from everything Protect her The witch is crazy She shows no remorse or empathy for the things she does At one point, Korede muses, I am haunted by her actions than she is Yeah No kidding I did fluctuate throughout the story between feeling bad for Korede for all the bullshit she had to put up with and being angry at her for not standing up to her damn sister.Ultimately, I wish it would have gone a different way I really was hoping Korede would make growth as a character and fight back against the treatments and judgments laid upon her This is a novella though, very short, and I just don t think there was enough time for her character to get there.Overall, I felt the story was compelling, it definitely kept me interested and was unique Thank you to the publisher, Doubleday Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review I always appreciate the opportunity and I know a lot of people will enjoy this little tale Personally, I look forward to seeing what comes next from Braithwaite I like her style

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  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Thicker Than Water
  • Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • 05 August 2018
  • 9780525564201