Review: A Spell of Good things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Eniola is tall for his age, a boy who looks like a man. Because his father has lost his job, Eniola spends his days running errands for the local tailor, collecting newspapers, begging when he must, dreaming of a big future.

Wuraola is a golden girl, the perfect child of a wealthy family. Now an exhausted young doctor in her first year of practice, she is beloved by Kunle, the volatile son of an ascendant politician.

When a local politician takes an interest in Eniola and sudden violence shatters a family party, Wuraola and Eniola’s lives become intertwined. In her breathtaking second novel, Ayobami Adebayo shines her light on Nigeria, on the gaping divide between the haves and the have-nots, and the shared humanity that lives in between.


I was super stoked to see this ARC show up on NetGalley. Stay with Me which was Ayobami’s debut novel made quite the splash. It is one book that I have ended up discussing numerous times, even with my non-reader friends. I, therefore, received a copy of A Spell of Good Things with excitement and a little anxiety wondering whether the author will attain the magic of the first novel.

A Spell of Good Things started out slow for me. It took a little time to get into the narrative. The story begins by introducing us to Eniola, a young boy whose family is struggling financially. Eniola’s father lost his teaching job and has gone into depression after fruitlessly seraching for a new job for years. His mother is struggling to make ends meet while Eniola and his sister, Busola, are struggling with hunger, lack of school fees and seemingly, endless hopelessness. On the other hand, the author introduces us to Wuraola, a doctor from an affluent family, engaged to a politician’s son. Wuraola’s life was so far removed Eniola’s that I couldn’t help but wonder how their stories would intersect.

I didn’t even notice when the pace changed. I quickly found myself deeply engrossed in the narrative until I reached a point where I didn’t want to stop reading the book but at the same time, I couldn’t stop reading it. The imagery of modern-day Nigeria in light of political tensions and class divide was quite well done. I could visualize the setting, atmosphere and the lives of the characters. The characterization was quite good. All including the support characters were well developed which added to the richness of the narrative.

This story left me heartbroken in the end, and stunned. It swept me off my feet, took me on a journey but I wasn’t ready for that ending. It’s a book that I won’t forget easily. I remember coming to the last page, staring at nothing while wondering how to possible move on and pick another book. I can’t recommend A Spell of Good Things enough. It’s a stunning read, one that every reader should experience.


4 thoughts on “Review: A Spell of Good things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s