My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a humorous portrayal of what it would be like to have a serial killer for a sister in a culture so embedded in family loyalty. I really enjoyed this story, especially the way that it is so relatable in terms of family dynamics and the feeling of being the ‘ugly duckling’ in the family. Sibling rivalry plays an important role, which made me understand what the main character was going through so much more. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is out now from Doubleday/Random House Audio.
The plot of this book is rather simple. Korede’s sister, Ayoola is a serial killer. The book begins with Korede being interrupted because her sister has killed another one of her boyfriends. That makes three, which makes her, by definition, a serial killer. Now it looks as though Ayoola has her sights set on a friend of Korede. How can Korede protect her friend, while still maintaining her loyalty to her sister?
Why I liked this book
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is excellent because of the complex characters created by the author. Braithwaite introduces us to Korede, who has always felt overshadowed by her prettier sister. However, Korede is still likeable because she obviously loves her sister and wishes her happiness. All throughout, I enjoyed the moral dilemmas going through Korede’s mind as to how she should treat the situation; is her sister dangerous, and does it even matter? This takes sibling dynamics to a whole new level and expands on some interesting ideas, such as if you would turn your sibling into the police knowing they had committed a crime?
I also really enjoyed the setting of the novel and learning the ways things work in Nigerian hospitals, as well as going deeper into the family structure and the ways the community view women and men. I was surprised by a few things and learned some interesting facts about the culture.
More than this, though, it’s a very fun read. Ayoola is such a stereotypical ‘wannabe’ and her actions are amplified by the complete contrast in her day-to-day, making her murderous antics rather amusing. Braithwaite also makes you sympathise with Ayoola in that none of it is truly her fault, and these things just keep happening to her, but she does not control it. This stunk of millennial entitlement and I loved it.
Overall, I would give this book a solid 5*. It is a great novella, with a simple yet deep storyline which incorporates a range of interesting characters, from the stereotypical millennial to the conflicted sister, stopping along the way to look at the role men play in the lives of women and how mothers and other family members influence this. I would recommend this to people who enjoy light, comedic reads with a touch of tension and a thrill. I read the audio version of this book and absolutely loved it and the narrator.