You either love your sister, or you hate her. And, if your sister is anything like Ayoola, you might fear her.
‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ is Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel. While it’s a short read, it’s fairly sharp and the pacing is flawless. A study in codependency, the relationship between sisters Korede and Ayoola is toxic and all-consuming.
The elder sister, Korede, works as a nurse and has become skilled in handling body disposal and blood stain removal due to the deadly relationships Ayoola creates for herself. There is a jealousy in her, watching as Ayoola manages to turn heads when she enters a room, but there is also a fierce loyalty to protect these activities.
This book is excellent as it explores dysfunctional relationships, peering into the relationships both sisters shared with their deceased father, and also with their living mother. It isn’t very often a story where the man becomes a victim, and Braithwaite goes all out in revealing the complex details in such a short piece of work.
There isn’t much plot to the book, unfortunately. It acts as more of a detailed piece focusing on the complex relationships within the story line, and slowly unveils the fact that the relationship of sisterhood is often the most powerful one of all. As Ayoola continues to add to her body count, her sister grows anxious about the fate that awaits both of them. How many men can one woman murder before the spotlight hits her? And, how many bodies can one woman hide before evidence connects her to the crimes?
One of the best attributes of this story is the examination of social media and how we use it to broadcast our lives, and how there can be a stark difference from our authentic selves and our online versions. It might be a little exhausting with these consistent mentions of Instagram and Snapchat, but it ties to Ayoola so strongly, as it has a massive impact on how she lets herself be viewed by others. Like a spider spinning her web, she is slowly luring men to their deaths.
This story could have been longer by another hundred pages for a closer examination of character motivations. However, it was such a clever story that balances witty commentary with this unique portrayal of an abusive relationship.
If you’re looking for a darkly humorous story of murder and sisterhood, check out this book.
Rachel Small is not a small person and might be the present day reincarnation of Lizzie Borden. She crawled to life one night after midnight in the basement of a bookstore.