DECEMBER 2019 FIELD NOTES BOOK: MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER

It’s that time of the month again: this past Saturday the Field Notes Book Group met for a lively discussion of our November book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, covering such issues as the reputations of Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson, scapegoating in war, the way history repeats falsehoods as if they were truths.  Then we chose the book for our December meeting, and if you’re thinking it would be something light and cheerful, maybe holiday themed, you’re way off. Our next book is My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Brathwaite.

This is one case where the title is quite accurate and quite obvious.  This very short novel (I read it in a weekend) is set in Nigeria, where two sisters, Korede and Ayoola, live with their mother.  Korede is a nurse, soon to be a head nurse in her hospital; she’s not particularly pretty and she hasn’t had many (any?) suitors, but she’s reliable and hardworking.  Her younger sister, Ayoola, is beautiful and thoughtless, and possibly a sociopath. She has, before the book begins, killed two boyfriends, and the book opens with her calling Korede to tell her another boyfriend is dead.  Korede has taken it on herself to clean up after her sister, to keep Ayoola from getting caught and possibly sent to jail (Ayoola claims she is always killing men in self-defense, but Korede is starting to doubt this). In addition to using various cleaning products to remove all signs of blood, and getting rid of bodies, Korede also makes a point of keeping her sister from doing stupid things like posting lighthearted things on Instagram when she’s supposed to be worried about her missing boyfriend.  There’s some tension between them at the outset, but when Ayoola sets her sights on Tade, the handsome doctor on whom Korede’s long had a crush, Korede’s confused loyalties come into sharper focus, and she has to make some serious decisions about what she’s going to do with her sister and her life.

Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk, so come in and pick one up, and then join us on December 21 at 11:00 a.m. in The Field Library for coffee and refreshments and what promises to be a fascinating discussion.

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