My Sister, the Serial Killer
By: Okiyan Braithwaite
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…
When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…
I had started hearing and seeing this book around quite a bit over the later half of the summertime, hearing positive things about the book as well as the fact that the book is quite a quick read. I was in desperate need of some distraction at the time (that would be…early August when I read it) so I decided to pick up this book.
Oh man, this book really does grab you from the beginning. I really felt for Korede’s journey as she cleans up after her younger, beautiful sister’s messes, the person Ayoola turns too after boyfriend after boyfriend ends up dead, that she has to deal with the aftermath even though she wasn’t the one who committed the crime, while her sister seems to go about her daily business like nothing has happened. It’s really strange and yet a bit of the flashbacks into the family history does explain some things (but still leaves you wondering how Ayoola ended up the way she is. Raises in the back of my mind the whole nature vs. nurture debate. And of course we’re reading this story from Korede’s point of view).
But yeah, the story is quite suspenseful, there are a number of close calls that would’ve outed Ayoola and Korede. And of course things ramp up when the object of Korede’s affection, the kind Tade, developed an interest in Ayoola. I really felt for her then as she struggled between keeping him separate from her home life and Ayoola’s sphere but then also protecting her sister and everything she’s been up to. It of course comes crashing down in spectacular fashion but you nonetheless just keep turning the page figuring out what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen. It’s a fascinating discussion too on family, how far you’d go for your family, how much you’d stick together, as well as domestic violence, the relationship between siblings and between parents and children, and of beauty and victimhood/accuser/what’s true.
On a side note, loooooove that Korede is a nurse, lol 😀
Overall I really enjoyed reading this novel, what they said is true that you can read this book in one night, it really just grips you from start to finish. The characterization, the storytelling, the perspective in which the story was told…Anyway, definitely worth checking out, I’m so glad I read it.