Baba Segi had four wives. Of course he was not the first man with multiple wives. He was just another man who believed that the more the wives and children, the better. So why did Lola Shoneyin decide to center her story on a polygamous family whose occurence is not new in the society? The answer is found in the web of secrecy and betrayal that surrounds the Alao family.

Baba Segi had been living happily with his three wives until he decided to marry wife number four. In came Bolanle.
Bolanle is a University graduate who chose to be a fourth wife because of the emotional scars she carried. She preferred the emotional detachment that comes with being another wife and not an only wife.

The first and third wife did not take to Bolanle mainly because they felt threatened by her since they were unlearned. They also knew she was going to disturb the rhythm of their home. Moreso, if they were not careful they feared she was going to bring their much guarded secret to light.

An uneasy atmosphere settled on the Alao home with the wives doing their best to drive Bolanle out but not succeeding. Things however came to a head when after two years Bolanle was yet to conceive and Baba Segi became desperate to find a solution to this. If he had known the chain of events his actions would spark off he would have let sleeping dogs lie.

Lola Shoneyin tells the tale of a typical polygamous home albeit with a twist which leaves the reader sympathetic to the man rather than his wives. A beautiful piece.