The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
My Sister, The Serial Killer is a story set in Nigeria’s corrupt system of law and order. It’s a mix of humor and mystery and tackles societal expectations, relationships and kinship. It follows the story of Korede and her younger sister, Ayoola. Korede is plain, pragmatic and reliable while Ayoola is beautiful, charismatic and manipulative. Ayoola has just killed her boyfriend, again, her third victim, which now makes her a serial killer. Korede thinks it odd that Ayoola is carrying a knife but then just keeps quiet about it and helped her sister clean the mess at hand.
It is a short read, you can finish it in one sitting. It is written in short chapters alternating between the past and present, which I really liked as I get to know about the previous murders. Oyinkan Braithwaite is skillful in transitioning between different periods of time. Moreover, I liked how her characters were examined without revealing too much which allows for moments of surprise. Korede confides to a comatose patient in the hospital where she works for. It’s somewhat an unlikely relationship but this shows Korede’s sense of isolation from the people around her.
While the story’s language is simple and the chapters are short, there are multiple layers to this story which will keep the reader captivated. I somehow struggled with the absence of a character to like or love. I also didn’t connect emotionally to the novel and this resulted to somewhat an unsatisfying read but I must say, I was never bored in the story itself.
The ending might surprise some but it makes the most sense if you noticed the author’s clues throughout the story.
“She does not cry for me,” he says, his voice hardening. “She cries for her lost youth, her missed opportunities and her limited options. She does not cry for me, she cries for herself.”
“Is there anything more beautiful than a man with a voice like an ocean?”
“Love is not a weed, It cannot grow where it please…”
“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”