In the Club

Who TF Did I Marry?!

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

I just got discovered a TikTok playlist that has me gripped. It has 50 parts. FIFTY. Since I started watching it, I’ve been telling friends about it, watching it during lunch breaks, and even right before going to sleep. In it, user ReesaTeesa chronicles her experiences dating and then marrying a man who is now her ex-husband, and y’all. It is a lot. I’m not even half way through, but I already know that there are going to be some major reveals concerning who her ex really was, despite what he told her. Ressa gets an A++ for story telling.

That brings me to today’s book club discussion. Watching this TikTok playlist got me thinking about all that goes into a marriage, and how, no matter how many years were put in and how close you were, you may still not know who your partner really is.

I think the books below explore marriage from just about all possible angles — the horrific, the realistic, and the mythological — but first, let’s get into our book club bites.

Nibbles and Sips

Lemon and blueberry pound cake

I’m pretty sure lemon and blueberry pound cakes are always in season, but this will come especially in clutch as a cozy treat while those of us in North America ride out the last days of winter.

Apart from the usual baking ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, etc.), you’ll need sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, blueberries, and greek yogurt. For a full list of ingredients and instructions, visit Georgina Thomas’ Instagram.

cover of Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo

Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo

At 74-years-old, Barrington Jedidiah Walker — Barry to his friends — is fly af. Born in Antigua, he’s made a home for himself in Britain, where he’s raised a family and gained a reputation for having a flamboyantly fun personality and looking fly in retro suits. He’s a father, grandfather, and husband. He’s also someone who’s been having a secret relationship with his childhood friend Morris — who he sees as his soulmate — for decades . Though his wife Carmel suspects he’s been cheating on her, she doesn’t know how deep the feelings go. It’s a new day, in a new era of greatly increased queer friendliness —but the lasting effects of living in fear as a queer man all your life are hard to shake.

a graphic of the cover of Splinters by Leslie Jamison

Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story by Leslie Jamison

In her new memoir, the bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams writes about reassembling herself after marriage. She looks at how life is as a woman with multiple identities — mother, lover, teacher — and having a daughter has created a sort of second, outside consciousness. Apart from looking at who she is since her marriage, Jamison also looks at the long-lasting influence of her parents’ union.

cover of Stay with Me

Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

In this award-nominated book, Yejide and Akin have been married since college. Cultural expectations of Nigeria at the time predict that Akin will take on several wives, but the couple decide that polygamy isn’t the way to go. But when Yejide doesn’t become pregnant after a few years, her family shows shows up with a young woman meant to be Akin’s second wife. Suddenly, Yejide is desperate to become pregnant no matter the cost.

cover of People Collide by Isle McElroy

People Collide by Isle McElroy

“What better way to explore gender and its role in marriage than to have a cis couple switch bodies?” — McElroy, probably. Here, Eli and Elizabeth — whose names have some interesting implications — are sharing an apartment in Bulgaria when Eli wakes one day to realize he’s swapped bodies with his wife. On top of that, she’s missing. He goes on a search across Europe and America to find Elizabeth, who is now living as him. He also questions how this new transformation will impact their marriage.


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