Wahala in Nigerian Pidgin (Naija) means trouble. The three central characters of this book are mixed race women, Anglo-Nigerian; Simi, Boo and Ronke; who live and work in London. Simi and Boo are married to white men, Martin and Didier respectively; while Ronke’s boyfriend, Kayode is Nigerian. Enter wahala aka Isobel, a friend of Simi’s, who is now hell bent on being ‘best friend’ with each of the three women. Isobel is adept in creating a world of misunderstandings and the women find themselves embroiled in this mayhem. What had seemed to be a smooth and perfect friendship pre-Isobel, had now morphed into an ambiguous, erratic and frustrating experience lacking mutual trust and respect, post-Isobel. Isobel becomes this catalyst in exposing their dark secrets, emotional infractions and lies. As a master puppeteer, she manipulates their insecurities and fears and makes them dance out of their friendships and relationships.

Nikki May, writes this captivating story about flawed friendships with brutal honesty. She keeps it emotionally fertile while exploring its various psychological aspects. She drives through the point that just because a friendship has survived many years; it needn’t be the best. For that matter, any relationship that hasn’t nurtured a feeling of equality amongst its members, is destined for an upheaval.

The book is full of rich Nigerian culture. Food forms an important part of the narration and it has been written in the most visually delectable manner. At the end of the book, recipes for the most famous Nigerian dishes have been mentioned too. Though the climax felt a bit hurried and a tad dramatic, the book in itself is striking.

Of course, we don’t need an Isobel in our lives to cause Wahala and hence realisations. Maybe a keen insight would do!


Author: theshinydiaries

Being authentic; one day at a time!

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