It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Wahala by Nikki May.
‘Nikki’s debut novel WAHALA will be published around the world and is due to be turned into a major TV serial for the BBC by Bafta-nominated writer Theresa Ikoko.’
About the Author
Born in Bristol and raised in Lagos, Nikki May is Nigerian-British. At twenty, she dropped out of medical school, moved to London, and began a career in advertising, going on to run a successful agency. Nikki lives in Dorset with her husband and two standard Schnauzers. Follow @NikkiOMay on Twitter, Visit nikki-may.com
Nikki says: “This is a novel about the power of friendship and the stories we inherit. The inspiration for Wahala came from a long (and loud) lunch with very good friends in a Nigerian restaurant. I wanted to read a book that had people like me in it. The first scene was drafted on the train journey home. The characters became flesh and wouldn’t let me go.”
About the book
Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English, though they don’t all choose to see it like that.
Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they look to the future – Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Simi supposedly wants a child (well, her husband does); Boo is frustrated and unfulfilled, caught in a whirl of school runs and lustful dreams. When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.
As cracks in their friendship begin to appear, it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may have just repeated itself.
A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on love, race and family, Wahala will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Boldly political about class, colorism and cooking, here is a truly inclusive tale that will speak to anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.
Ronke, Simi, Boo are long-time friends, and it would seem that they are have an unbreakable bond of friendship, which is cemented through their dual identities in regards to culture and the fact they are all mixed-race. Their experiences of racism have been consistent – systemic, and yet also defined by their surroundings and their individual experiences.
When a unexpected fourth person inserts herself into their group the boundaries of their friendship and loyalties begin to move and crumble. A pretty face and a flashy personality can’t hide a venomous snake with vicious intentions for long.
I enjoyed the way this read evolved from the complexity of friendships, the nuances of racism and cultural expectations, into a dark domestic story. Quite unexpected, but it does the job when it comes to keeping readers on their toes. May shows the often extreme balancing act those generations have to deal with when it comes to having to pander to two cultural identities. The family has expectations and society often quite a different set of the same.
I’ll be looking forward to more interesting reads by this author.
Buy Wahala at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Doubleday Uk, pub date 6th January 2022 | Hardback | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.