Cover Image: The Nigerwife

The Nigerwife

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Member Reviews

I have very mixed feelings about this book. 
On the one hand, I enjoyed the writing and the beginning had me extremely intrigued. However, as the book carried on, the intriguing plot seemed to give way to other things that reduced the suspense. Because of these developments, I don't think I'd classify this book as a thriller. I think it would've worked more as a literary fiction family saga, then I think I would've cared about Claudine. The book didn't set up that relationship well enough for me to care about her solo plot developments.
Also, the ending completely falls apart for me. I do not like the conclusion and it perpetuates negative stereotypes, which was disappointing for a book that frequently speaks against the Nigerian patriarchal notions.
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THE NIGERWIFE gives the reader a solid mix of suspense and women's fiction. However, for me, I couldn't connect with the characters. Walters had a very interesting plot, but I felt like I had read this before. I wanted something different based on what I read about the novel.
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Nicole has left foggy London for tropical Nigeria when she marries her handsome, wealthy husband and creates what seems like an Instagram worthy life, but all is not quite what it seems. When Nicole suddenly disappears, her estranged Auntie flies to Nigeria to investigate for herself what has become of Nicole. Nigerwife is an actual name for foreign women who marry Nigerian men and form a supportive society for each other while living in an alien environment. Unputdownable.  Highly Recommended.
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I have to admit that I was slightly inspired and intrigued to read this thriller set in Nigeria because of Usman from 90 Day Fiancé. 🤣 It is no secret that Nigerian men have a reputation of meeting women online and scamming them for money; I thought this would make for a delicious read. This novel is actually the reverse: a group of foreign women marry wealthy Nigerian men with the promise that all of their hopes and dreams will be fulfilled. Not all that glitters is gold, and one woman, Nicole, begins to question her choices. She suddenly disappears and her auntie will stop at nothing to find her. 

The front of the book promised it would be “thrillingly suspenseful.” When I reached the halfway mark, I questioned what exactly the blurb was referring to. Unfortunately the majority of The Nigerwife describes Nicole’s unhappiness and her marital affair. It was disjointed and rambling, and I could have cared less what happened to her. There were many recollections of the past that did not add to the story. I found that I kept asking myself, “Wait. What timeline are we in?” Until this novel, I honestly did not think it possible for a book to have TOO much detail. 😴 I did enjoy learning about the the Nigerwives Nigeria community and the real life dangers of the Lagos Lagoon. Next, please!
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The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters. Pub Date: May 2, 2023. Rating: 3 stars. I was intrigued by the premise of this novel set in Nigeria surrounding a young mother/woman's disappearance. Her estranged aunt comes to Nigeria to investigate the disappearance of her niece. Through her investigation, she is met with roadblocks, mysteries, a wealthy Nigerian husband and a community of wealthy Nigerian women. I found the landscape of this novel to be descriptive and immersive, but the actual mystery itself took forever to get to the point. I liked this novel, but did not love it. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for this e-arc in exchange for my honest review. #netgalley
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Finished! I loved The Nigerwife by @vanessawaltersb! I technically finished in June for #readcaribbean  month! The suspense had me neglecting things and the twists and turns kept me up at night reading!

I love a good African wedding. The opulence the pagentry and the obvious coins dropped. But listen, don’t marry me and take me nowhere where I have to depend on a man for living. Even a big mansion and a driver and all the trappings. Because money and power clearly can’t make a marriage and it didn’t for Nicole. She’s a British citizen of Jamaican decent who marries Tonye a wealthy Nigerian. They move to Nigeria to live with his parents on their compound. (No ma’am. That living with in laws was bound to be a problem.) Anyway, when we begin the story, Nicole is missing. And her Aunt Claudine (such a Jamaican name) has left England for Nigeria to look for her. (Note to my son: I’m not marrying any man and moving across the globe unless he looks like Edris or Kofe and is wealthy. If something happens you better go to my shared location and come find me! 

I’ll say that again: Nicole is missing! And you must read to find out the back story and if they find her. It’s a juicy suspenseful tale. I won’t spoil it.

I especially enjoyed how the themes of motherhood, feeling fulfilled, feeling seen as a black woman are weaved in. 

Will there be a sequel? I have questions though…

Some memorable quotes: 

‘Shine your eyes.’ Nothing here is what it seems.”

“As long as there was life, there was hope. But there were no signs of life and no hope.” (My Caribbean mom says this ALL the time)

“and people who needed so much to be happy generally weren’t.”

“To be seen is to be felt, to be held, to be real, not just a figment of someone’s imagination, their idea of a woman, a wife, a mother.”

“In this life, there is no man or woman you can trust completely. Even the one who loves you the most will hurt you in the end. That is why you can only depend on yourself.”

Thank you to @atriabooks for allowing me to read through @netgalley!
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Nicole seems to have it all. A beautiful home, two healthy children, money for whatever she needs and a handsome husband.  But there is one problem-Nicole is trapped  Her husband is abusive, controls all the money and her house is shared by her in-laws. Then Nicole disappears and the secrets start to come out.  Her Aunt Claudine comes from the UK to investigate what has happened to Nicole. One detail that is uncovered is that Nicole is a Nigerwife, a n ex-pat married to a Nigerian and it soon becomes apparent thatNigerwives have very little power in Lagos, where our story takes place. 

I really enjoyed The Nigerwife and would give it five stars. The whodunit aspect of the story, along with Nicole’s point of view kept me interested and made the book hard to put down. The fact that being a Nigerwife is a real thing is heart wrenching and makes the books message that much clearer.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mystery and wants to learn more about what it’s like to be a Nigerwife.
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A wife goes missing, leaving many questions. What happened to her? This was an interesting book that kept me guessing. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC.
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Did not finish at 7%. Book did not draw me in quite like I thought it would. While it was interesting, it wasn't as suspenseful as I expected.
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An interesting mystery that kept me guessing. What happened to this missing wife? 
Many thanks to Atria and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A foreign-born wife battles for love and recognition in Lagos, Nigeria, and then goes missing. 

Nichole, wife of wealthy Nigerian businessman Tonye Oruwaris, lives an opulent life in Lagos with servants, a nanny, and a driver, the opposite of what she had in London. From London via a family from Jamaica, Nichole is estranged from her family because she left there three years ago to live in Nigeria with Tonye and their two boys. But her husband has cooled to her, focused more on his property development. When she finds “hog-ties” in Tonye’s suitcase and a hotel receipt, she confronts Tonye, who dismisses her and tells her she has too much time on her hands and it’s driving her crazy. She moves into the guest room. 

Nichole turns to her friends in the Nigerwives, a group of foreign-born women who have married Nigerian men. They support each other although they have no power either with their husbands or the authorities. The group also has a secret that no one must know about.

When Nichole disappears on a boat trip, her aunt Claudine travels from London to find her niece. Claudine raised and cared for Nichole and is angry that little has been done to investigate the disappearance. Everyone, even the police, thinks that Nichole left on her own accord, and Tonye seems more interested in his sister’s upcoming wedding. Claudine discovers secrets from the Nigerwives about Nichole that could have put Nichole in jeopardy. No one wants those secrets to come out. The wealthy in Lagos won’t tolerate disruption of their world, customs, and family hierarchy. As Claudine gets closer to the truth, she also uncovers secrets from her own family’s past.

Told from the point of view of both women—Nichole before she goes missing and Claudine after—author Vanessa Walker cleverly keeps us guessing about Nichole. Walker, a former Nigerwife, depicts Nigeria so well that the smell of floating trash in the lagoon rises and the homes sparkle in contrast. One of the settings, a gallery, exhibits the art of actual world-renowned Nigerian artists. 

Lagos is a fascinating and infuriating place with its lack of a middle class and the relationships between the wealthy and service class. Much of the story is focused on the characters, not the plotting as in a fast-paced thriller. Even though there were plenty of Easter eggs, the story lacks some development that would have strengthened the shocking ending’s “coming out of nowhere” twist. The Nigerwife is well worth reading, entrancing in its complex plotting and immersion in the Nigerian culture.

Thanks to Atria Books for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Part thriller, part family saga the story Nicole  and her time as a Nigerwife is complex and engrossing. Told alternately through Nicole and her Aunt Claudine (who raised her and is investigating her disappearance) authors Vanessa Walters pieces together a picture of broken family dynamics, cultural expectations, and the consequences of seeking beyond the expected confines of the roles played by those in a world that is controlled by perceptions not reality.
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Nigerwives is a term used to identify foreign women who are married to Nigerians. Nicole is one such woman, who unexpectedly and mysteriously disappears.
The Nigerwife was not what I expected. Billed a thriller, it’s more women’s fiction with a mystery thrown in for good measure.  I found the pace of the story quite slow, while the narrative was also a bit wordy.  The author provides information about life in Nigeria but I felt that it was mostly focused on the lives of the wealthy residents, producing a lop-sided view of Nigerian life. More information about customs and politics would have been interesting.  

I found it difficult to connect with any of the characters, all of whom I found to be shallow and unappealing.  Overall, the writing is uneven with a few random things added at odd times.

I will give Vanessa Walter’s debut novel 3 stars only because the writing, although uneven, is quite good.  This just wasn’t the story for me.

May thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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I didn't know much about Nigeria or its culture prior to this book, so I enjoyed that. However, the pace was very slow, which made it difficult to stay engaged. Parts felt disjointed, and it was overly descriptive, which also pulled me out of the story. It's marketed as a thriller, but I didn't find that to be the case (especially with the slow pace). The dialogue was somewhat hollow, and the characters weren't as developed as I'd expected.
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This was an intriguing story unlike any I have read before. I was unaware of the concept of a 'Nigerwife' until opening this book, and the author's note revealing that this story was loosely based on their own experience as a 'Nigerwife' made the novel that much more authentic. I loved how layered and twisty this murder mystery was, and narration from two different characters in two different timelines added to the intrigue of the story for me. I found myself absorbed in the mystery and not wanting to put the book down. It was quite the page turner and I enjoyed the messy family dynamics and the brutal history built into the narrative that played such an important role in these characters lives. Very well done.
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The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters is one of those novels where the mystery keeps you guessing until the very end.  In this book, we meet Nicole and her auntie/surrogate mother, Claudine. When Nicole marries Tonye Oruwari, she trades her life in London to live in her husband’s homeland of Nigeria.  Years later when Nicole mysteriously disappears, Claudine travels to Nigeria in an attempt to discover what has happened to her.  When she encounters Nicole’s husband and his family, Claudine discovers there seems to be a lack of interest and urgency in the entire family to find out the truth about Nicole’s disappearance.  Claudine then sets out on a course of discovery to determine what has happened to her niece.  This novel not only gives you a good mystery, the characters, especially Nicole and Claudine are very well developed.  We learn about their past together and how events and decisions impacted their relationship.  We also learn about the many secrets and prejudices the Oruwari family carries.  Against the background of Nigeria and its traditions, superstitions and misogynistic lifestyle, the mystery of Nicole’s disappearance unfolds.   I enjoyed this book.  Mystery lovers will have fun with this intriguing novel.
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The plot twist definitely caught me by surprise, and I loved all the background info on Nigerian culture/Nigerwives, but overall the pacing was a little off and I just wasn’t that intrigued :(
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The setting in The Nigerwife is so well-described you can actually feel the swampiness, the suffocating heat, the sweat dripping off of people. The author transports the reader to Lagos while she develops a picture of the culture, today and in the past. The story wraps around the disappearance of Nicole, a Nigerwife (a term for foreign-born women who move to Nigeria with their husbands) who was educated and raised mostly in London and now holds a law degree. After two years of marriage Nicole moves with her husband, Tonye, and their one-year old son back to Nigeria where Tonye was born and raised, to live in the same compound where he' works for his well-to-do father who oversees the family with a strong paternalistic hand.
There are no rose-coloured glasses in this look at Lagos, nor are the Nigerians who populate this novel people one might be interested in getting to know. In fact, no one is who they initially seem to be, even the aunt Claudine who raised Nicole after her mother died of a drug over-dose. Estrangement, greed, what comprises love, friendship -- are all themes in this story.
While most of the characters are well-developed/believable, the question the book leaves me with is how a type-A personality, which Nicole certainly must have been to earn a law degree, how did she turn into a simpering person content to be taken care of, pampered even, with all that is available to the wealthy families of Lagos. Is wealth that seductive??
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What I liked: 
✨Dual POV/Timelines: I love this format.  Nicole narrates the past, and Claudine narrates the present, giving the reader a complete picture of Nicole’s life in London and Nigeria. 
✨Cultural Commentary: The Nigerwives feel a little like characters in The Real Housewives of Lagos - social climbers, wealth status, and everyone out for themselves. In the wealthy society of Logos, secrets are more important than the truth, which creates a lonely life for Nicole. 
✨Narration: Dami Olukoya and Debra Michaels add depth to the story, create tension within the marriage, and intrigue to the mystery. 

If you get a chance to read this one, I highly suggest reading the author’s note before reading the book. The author’s note adds context to the Nigerwives, Lagos culture, and Nigerian history. This context enhances the story.
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Good Morning America Book Club Pick for a perfect beach read! I agree! Look at that cover! The reviews are varied so I wasn't sure about it, but let me just say I enjoyed it. I'm not sure if it was the beauty of Nigeria or the actual mystery thriller that caught my attention and held it, but it worked for me. This was a twisted variety of characters. 

Nicole lives a perfect life with her handsome Nigerian husband in a beautiful home in Lagos. The whole community is glamorous people the opposite of her life with her troubled family in London. 
She now has a nanny and two sons. What she doesn't show on the outside, is darker than her real life! 

When she goes missing with some friends on a boat trip, an investigation opens finding fissures in her perfect life. Her Aunt Claudine from London goes on a hunt for her and finds a life quite the opposite of her glamorous facade. It becomes dark through the rest of the story revealing secrets of violence in her life and many consequences to this pristine world.

I enjoyed it although there were times it became lengthy and drawn out, but other than that I could not help myself being drawn into the case and her mysterious egotistical husband. 
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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