[TW: discussions of depression, mental illness, and suicide]
Onyi Nwabineli’s stunning debut novel Someday, Maybe hit the bookstores this November 1, published by Graydon House, an imprint of HarperCollins. Exploring themes of grief, mental illness, and irrevocable love, Someday, Maybe is a heartrending tale about a young Nigerian woman who loses her husband too soon.
The novel has been receiving a lot of attention since it was first published. It was published in the UK by Magpie Books on October 6, a month before the US release. It has been named a Good Morning America Book Club pick, a Book of the Month Club pick, and one of the Best Books of November by Apple Books.
Bestselling British-Nigerian author Bolu Babalola commented on the book, calling it:
A masterfully woven exposition on love and loss, of the undoing of us, of what it takes to heal. Nwabineli is magic with words, and manages to be at turns bitingly funny and heart-breakingly gutting. A book that acknowledges despair whilst encouraging hope.
Here are three things you should know about my husband:
- He was the great love of my life despite his penchant for going incommunicado.
- He was, as far as I and everyone else could tell, perfectly happy. Which is significant because…
- On New Year’s Eve, he killed himself.
And here is one thing you should know about me:
- I found him.
Bonus fact: No. I am not okay.
The narrator Eve Ezenwa-Morrow is a young woman in a tight knit British-Nigerian family who loses the person she loves in the most unimaginably tragic way. Eve’s entire world shatters after her husband’s death and “the idea that she had been happy just days before with a loving family, a doting husband, and a good job working with her best friend seems impossible.” Despite the tremendous loss, Eve makes it through her emotional turmoil due to her supportive Nigerian family, a posse of friends, and the love and laughter she shared with her late husband.
Nwabineli’s beautiful writing filled with empathy will make you keep reading even as you reach for a box of tissues every so often. Most of all, you will be awed by the compassion and tenderness with which Nwabineli describes the interpersonal relationships between her characters – Eve’s grief for her husband, their touching love story, and Eve’s family’s boundless support during her time of healing.
Nwabineli was born in Nigeria and grew up in Glasgow, the Isle of Man, and Newcastle. She currently lives in London. Nwabineli graduated with English and Creative Writing degrees and is the co-founder of Surviving Out Loud, a nonprofit that provides survivors of sexual assault with legal assistance, therapy, and temporary relocation. Nwabineli is passionate about preserving the Igbo language and mentoring young Black girls. She is currently working on her second novel.
Someday, Maybe reflects the struggles that so many women go through when left to pick up the pieces after a tragedy. Nwabineli’s novel is a must read if you want to be inspired by strong women like Eve!