Thursday 6 January 2022

Wahala by Nikki May BLOG TOUR #Wahala @NikkiOMay @DoubledayUK @RandomTTours #BookReview


Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London.

They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English.

Not all of them choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her urban vibe yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.

Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and 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 just have repeated itself.

Explosive, hilarious and wildly entertaining, this razor-sharp tale of love, race and family will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Fearlessly political about class, colourism and clothes, the spellbinding Wahala is for anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.

Wahala by Nikki May is published today; 6 January 2022 by Doubleday. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours blog tour.

I adored this book, it's an education, an entertainment and for me, it was the absolute perfect read. 

I'm a fifty-something woman who has spent her life living in rural, northern England. Whilst my area does have a large Eastern European population, there are very few black people here. I don't think I've ever met anyone from a Nigerian heritage, but oh my goodness, Nikki May has taught me so much through the lives of her four main characters. 

Ronke, Simi and Boo are all mixed-race, with both English and Nigerian heritage, they live in London and are good friends. With varied personal backgrounds, their upbringings have been very different but they share an unbreakable tie to Nigeria, especially through food and language. Isobel and Simi went to school together and haven't really been in touch for years. Isobel's marriage has broken down and she's back, and the impact of her arrival on the other three women is astounding. 

The toxicity that can pervade female friendships is rife in this story. Isobel is a manipulator who has her own hidden agenda, and the damage that she causes whilst pursuing her goal is immense. 

At times this is hilarious and at others it is achingly sad. There were scenes that make for very uncomfortable reading, especially for white readers, as the women recall times when the colour of their skin has made white people jump to pretty ignorant conclusions about them. We have a lot to learn and a lot to change in this country! 

Each of the characters are beautifully and sensitively portrayed, from the leads, right through to those who only have a minor role in the story. I felt as though I had become part of the gang and I would relish a night out with these girls .. the food, the laughs, the honesty and the loyalty. Although, I'll pass on a date with Isobel! 

May writes with a precise sharpness that is so damn good. She manages to combine an overwhelming air of tension with a modern, totally relevant story of women, London, class, race and food. 

I cannot wait to see this one on screen and am desperate to read more from this very talented author. Highly recommended. 

Born in Bristol and raised in Lagos, Nikki May is Anglo-Nigerian. 

At twenty, she dropped out of medical school, moved to London, and began a career in advertising, going on to run a successful agency.
Her debut novel WAHALA was inspired by a long lunch with friends.

It will be published around the world and is due to be turned into a major TV serial.

Nikki lives in Dorset with her husband and two standard Schnauzers.

Twitter @NikkiOMay

Instagram @nikkimaywriter

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