My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is based in Nigeria, in the city Lagos. For black literature month I picked up this excellently written book that has been on my tbr for much too long. Braithwaite lets you experience a bit of their culture throughout this book. She is a bit vague about describing the place, but she is not afraid to put in cultural phrases for friends, aunts, family that we do not use. You get to have a feel about how the family regards relationships and duties based on age. You also get to see how the police are viewed and operated compared to how we are used to them working.
Braithwaite’s writing is sharp and concise — it really brings you into the book and holds you down. Braithwaite is also a poet, and she uses her poetry to influence how she styles the way she writes her novel. Using dense wording and her incisive choices of words you really get a sense of who she is as an author.
My Sister the Serial Killer explores the relationship between a younger sister and her older sister. The oldest sister, Korede, is your basic looking girl –she blends in everywhere but her personality is what makes people lover her. Nothing stands out about her, but she is great at what she does and loves working hard. The younger sister, Ayoola, is the exact opposite – extremely beautiful and stands out in a crowd. She is not a hard worker, and never considers anyone’s feelings— she thinks the world revolves around her. And her parade of guys just proves that.
“Ayoola summons me with these words—Korede, I killed him.
I had hoped I would never hear those words again.”
Loyalty to a serial killer, or finally being free?
Jumping right into the action, My Sister the Serial Killer opens up with Korede, contemplating the hardest place to get blood stains out of. Korede starts out as just helping her sister, but she soon finds herself stuck between her sister, the guy she loves, what is right, and someone who knows their secret. As Korede is contemplating all of this, we realize that this is not the first time she has done this. The book is from her point of view regarding her little sister. Korede has a strong personality and strong opinions on her sister and loyalty. She begins to identify her sister as a serial killer and a psychopath. Even though Korede knows all that stuff about her sister, she can’t help but have a need to watch over and protect her anyways.
Korede’s perspective is straight to the point. She thinks about her reality in a shockingly deadpan way. This is her life and her reality, she just has to keep going. The only brief respite Korede seems to giver herself it to openly talk about everything she is going through to a patient at the hospital she works at who is in a comma. He is your classic rich man who’s wife is using him for the money, and since no one is ever there to visit him she takes the opportunity to relieve her anxiety and speak her truth. Since he is on life support and has a low chance of waking up, what’s the harm in this?
Serial killers really kill the mood
Through My Sister the Serial Killer Korede talks about a handsome doctor she works with, who she has a huge crush on. Like a lot of girls at the hospital who also has a huge crush on him, the difference is that Korede and him are slowly turning into friends. That is till her sister shows up to the hospital. Ayoola sets her sights on this cute doctor, weeks after her last murder. Unable to withstand her beauty, Korede looses her chance with her doctor. This is when Korede starts to doubt her sister, and see her for what she really is. Her duty to her sister starts to falter and she is stuck wondering what to do.
What would you do if you sister killed someone? Then did it again, and again….. till she reaches your crush.