My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Published by Anchor Books on July 30th 2019
Genres: Thriller, Contemporary
“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”
Stories that deal with family and love and hate and the fine line between those two emotions hit very close to home for me.
“It’s not my fault, you know.”
Toxic family relationships and knowing someone is bad for you and yet being unable to cut them out of your life. Trying and failing. Guilt. Love. Hate. Love. Loyalty. Love. Resentment.
Love. Always love.
But how long can that love last? How long until that well runs dry? How long until all that’s left is resentment?
These answers weren’t completely answered in the book. Hate and love are continuously mixing, one emotion stronger than the other for a bit and then the other overtakes it in a continuous push and pull.
“Are you angry at me?”
Korede’s emotions were what really stood out to me; the tiredness, the resentment, the want to put her wants above her sister’s for once in her life. The way she has always been hold by her mother that she is responsible for Ayoola. The way she cleans as a way to have some control. The knowledge that she shouldn’t enable her sister but still doing it anyway.
“What does she want from me? What does she want me to say? I count the seconds; if I wait too long to respond, it will be a response in itself.”
This was an emotional and enjoyable read. Just know that if you’ve ever had toxic familial relationships then this could be very triggering and difficult to read. Definitely check out the content warnings at the bottom of this review. And please take of yourselves before and after reading this.
TLDR: To make a lengthy and rambling review short, this book is about family, about toxic familial bonds, about what lengths you’d be willing to go to for your loved ones. Don’t let the title fool you, this is definitely more of a character driven book that shows the flaws of its characters starkly, then it is a mystery or thriller.
About the book
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead.
Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.
Death, violence, blood, child abuse, domestic abuse, physical abuse, toxic relationships, murder, medical content, emotional abuse, misogyny, infidelity, sexism, body shaming, death of a parent, pedophilia, bullying, police brutality, sexual assault, and fatphobia.