Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Six books on unrequited love and unmet obsession

Megan Nolan lives in London and was born in 1990 in Waterford, Ireland. Her essays, fiction and reviews have been published in The New York Times, The White Review, The Sunday Times, The Village Voice, The Guardian and in the literary anthology, Winter Papers. She writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman.

Nolan's newly released debut novel is Acts of Desperation.

At Lit Hub she tagged six titles on unrequited love and unmet obsession, including:
Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, The Serial Killer

In this pleasingly ghastly, and very funny, sharp shock of a novel, Korede is a nurse, and the long suffering sister to willful, beguiling, beautiful influencer Ayoola who has also recently achieved serial killer status by doing away with the third of her boyfriends. Korede is called upon each time to help do away with the evidence and keeps an anguished eye on her sister’s giveaway glib behavior on social media, advertising her breezy recovery improperly soon after the deaths of her beaus. Their dynamic is disrupted when Ayoola sets her sights on a doctor at Korede’s hospital, Dr Tate Otumu, for whom Korede has been harboring a private passion. Will she finally stand up to Ayoola’s careless propensity for violence or sacrifice her benevolent doctor for familial duty? Her shy, reverent admiration is painful and touching, particularly one scene in which she wistfully watches him charm a crying toddler. And I love Braithwaite’s portrayal of the plain unfairness of unrequited love. Korede and Dr. Otumu have a genuine and long-established bond but it’s Ayoola’s physical beauty which finally makes the impact on him. Ayoola knows this—it’s part of why she can so ruthlessly make quick work of men: “All he wants is a pretty face. That’s all they ever want.”
Read about another entry on the list.

My Sister the Serial Killer is among Sarah Pinborough's top ten titles where the setting is a character, Tiffany Tsao's top five novels about murder all in the family, Victoria Helen Stone's eight top crime books of deep, dark family lore, and Kristen Roupenian's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue