My Sister, The Serial Killer

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Few novels tread the fine line between dark humour and gripping family drama quite like Oyinkan Braithwaite’s “My Sister, The Serial Killer.” They said blood is thicker than water, that’s why family always comes first. This novel explores the lengths to which one may go to protect their kin. 

“My Sister, The Serial Killer” is a smart and sarcastic book. At the heart of the story lies Karede, a stoic nurse who is drawn to cleanliness as a coping mechanism for the chaos that surrounds her. She only feels comfortable opening up about her life to a comatose patient. Her younger sister, Ayoola, stands in contrast – beautiful, self-absorbed, and has a chilling secret. Ayoola killed her boyfriends in acts of alleged self-defense. She insisted these men tried to harm her, and she hadn’t done anything wrong.

When Ayoola called Korede one night and confesses to yet another murder, Korede finds herself once again thrust into the role of protector. She cleans up her sister’s messes with a practiced efficiency from Ayoola’s previous boyfriends. Korede always stands on her sister’s side, that is until Ayoola begins a relationship with Tade, the charming doctor that Korede has had a crush on for a long time.

Review of “My Sister, The Serial Killer”

I could never say no to satire, and “My Sister, The Serial Killer” is a subtle blend of satire and dark humour. Braithwaite masterfully crafts characters that are as flawed as they are relatable. The jealousy, hurt, and drama within Korede’s family are so real. Her loyalty to Ayoola is unwavering, yet she also feels a sense of resentment born from years of living in Ayoola’s shadow. At a first glance, Ayoola is a self-absorbed beauty who appears not to notice about Karede’s feelings. But her carefree demeanour masks a deeper vulnerability, rooted in the traumas of their shared past. In a way, Ayoola also stood up for Korede.

The dynamic between the sisters is what sets this book apart. If Ayoola seems to flaunt her beauty and invites shallow men, Korede would build a wall to protect herself. Deep down, Korede is always jealous of her favoured sister, but she also likes to feel needed by her. Sometimes, Korede’s hurt feelings would come up and translate into her erratic behaviour.

Another thing I like is how Femi’s death has a deep impact on Korede. She even reaches out and finds his poem on the internet. She imagined how Femi was a character before he was killed, and I also like how his grieving sister can find a bit of solace from Ayoola, her brother’s killer.

Kudos to the author for creating characters that are both entertaining and real.

Another strength of “My Sister, The Serial Killer” lies in its structure. The book is structured in a series of short, punchy chapters. I was hooked on this kind of structure. The alternating timelines between the present and the past also add depth to the story. It offers glimpses into the sister’s trauma, which explains the sisters’ behaviour. I also like that the mother is a flawed character as well. Willing to maintain appearance for years about her husband’s death. 

The plot twist here is about Muhtar, the comatose patient to whom Karede confides her innermost thoughts. Who would expect that he wake up from comatose and still remember most of Korede’s stories? 

In the end, “My Sister, The Serial Killer” is more than just a tale of murder. It is about family, loyalty, and the lengths to which one will go to protect those they love. Braithwaite’s skillful storytelling makes for an unforgettable reading experience. Truly recommend this one. 

For those seeking a gripping and thought-provoking read that defies genre conventions, "My Sister, The Serial Killer" is an absolute must-read. Get your copy here.

Rating 5 out of 5.

Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Author: Francesca Ropa

Miserable is only a concept. Writes fictions and human interest stories. Days spent in rugged Middle Earth.

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