Thursday, July 21, 2022

New Review : Wahala : Nikki May

4 out of 5 books

WAHALA is the debut novel by author Nikki May.  The book centers around the friendship of the trio: Ronke, Simi and Boo who all met while attending college. The girls bonded through the common bond of being bi-racial, the children of European mothers and Nigerian fathers. Ronke is a dentist who owns her own practice. She lost her father when she was very young. She is still connected and embraces her Nigerian roots and is constantly looking for “her daddy” in the men that she dates.  She is in love with her current boyfriend Kayode, of Nigerian descent, but her friends feel with his unreliable ways he’s just using her. Simi is very focused on her career as a fashion marketing director, married to Martin who spends the majority of his time in America supporting his client.  Simi is very materialistic and does not share the same goals with her husband which drives her to deceptive means which she keeps the secret closely held.  Boo is married to Didier and has a young daughter Sophia.  She works part-time as a science researcher and is dissatisfied with her life as a wife and mother.  

Simi introduces her childhood friend, Isobel, to the trio and that is when the WAHALA which means trouble in Nigerian starts. Isobel is a child of the very wealthy and infamous Babangari family.  She is fun, flashy and caring on the surface. She subtly infiltrates herself within their friendship with friendly advice and provides a listening ear to all their problems and worries. Isobel’s charismatic spirit easily draws the women and it allows her to easily gain their trust.  Ronke didn’t particularly warm up to Isobel so she was the catalyst Isobel uses to cause discord and trouble amongst the friends. 

Nikki May created a great tale of the dynamics of friendships as well as betrayals which turned these friends of over ten years to frenemies. Although Ronke, Boo and Simi’s lives seem very successful, they each held insecurities that drove Isobel’s plot for them to flourish and take root. I was enthralled with the fusion of culture and customs in the book. The chemistry of the characters and the pace of the plot made for a very enjoyable read.  I really enjoyed the story and will highly recommend it. 
Reviewed by Paula Allen

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