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His Only Wife

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His Only Wife

By Peace Adzo Medie
Narrated by Soneela Nankani / 9 hours 3 minutes

“Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.”

Afi Tekple is a young seamstress whose life is narrowing rapidly. She lives in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother, spending much of her time in her uncle Pious’s house with his many wives and children. Then one day she is offered a life-changing opportunity—a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo, a man she doesn’t truly know. She acquiesces, but soon realizes that Elikem is not quite the catch he seemed. He sends a stand-in to his own wedding, and only weeks after Afi is married and installed in a plush apartment in the capital city of Accra does she meet her new husband. It turns out that he is in love with another woman, whom his family disapproves of; Afi is supposed to win him back on their behalf. But it is Accra that eventually wins Afi’s heart and gives her a life of independence that she never could have imagined for herself.

A brilliant scholar and a fierce advocate for women’s rights, author Peace Adzo Medie infuses her debut novel with intelligence and humor. For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Candice Carty-Williams, His Only Wife is the story of an indomitable and relatable heroine that illuminates what it means to be a woman in a rapidly changing world.


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“A hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut.”

Wayetu Moore, author of She Would Be King

“Afi marries the elusive Eli (who is in love with another woman) at the request of Eli's family (who hope that Eli will forget his woman in favor of this new bride). But as Afi's marriage with Eli develops, she learns things about him, about her in-laws and about herself that change everything. This beautiful novel set in Ghana speaks to themes of love, friendship, womanhood, duty, the delicate and complicated nature of family dynamics, and how all of these play into self-actualization.”

Rachel Petty, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan

About the Author

Peace Adzo Medie is a Ghanaian writer and Senior Lecturer in Gender and International Politics at the University of Bristol in England. Prior to that she was a Research Fellow at the University of Ghana. She has published several short stories, and her book, Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa will be published by Oxford University Press in 2020. She is an award-winning scholar and has been awarded several fellowships. She holds a PhD in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Geography from the University of Ghana. She was born in Liberia.


“A Cinderella story set in Ghana . . . A Crazy Rich Asians for West Africa, with a healthy splash of feminism.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“In her debut novel, Medie writes with a precise rhythm that builds the reader’s anticipation. Themes like deception, ambition, love, and values drench the pages with conflict that evolves into an emotional rollercoaster.”


“This stirring tale sings when Afi learns to flex her limited power.”

Publishers Weekly

“This rich, rewarding debut novel follows a Ghanaian seamstress — forced into an arranged marriage with a wealthy man she has never met — on her journey of self-discovery.”

The New York Times Book Review

Narrator Soneela Nankani
ISBN 9781649040107
Length 9 hours 3 minutes
Language English
Publisher Workman Publishing
Publication date
Edition Unabridged
Genres Fiction & Literature & Literary Fiction
Libro.fm rank #622 Overall
Genre rank #146 in Literary Fiction