c.2022, Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
$26
384 pages

“I just want you to be happy.”

You’ve heard that before, and yet, unsolicited advice never does. All the y’oughtas (“What y’oughta do is …”) and the unexpected help make you want to scream, even though you know that people really do mean well when they offer it. The thing is, they are not the CEO of your life. As in the new book, “Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?” by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, they need to mind their own business …

It was almost getting so that Yinka Oladeji didn’t want to go anywhere.

Every time she went out, someone — her Mum, her Aunty Debby, Big Mama — someone was asking when she was going to find a huzband. Pronounced auz-band in the British-Nigerian way, it was a total embarrassment.

It probably didn’t help that Yinka’s little sister, Kemi, was expecting her first baby, or that her friend, Rachel, just got engaged and Ola just had her third child. It also didn’t help that Yinka lost her job, and the man she loved, Femi, who’d dumped her and moved to America, was back in the city with his beautiful fiancée. 

Femi had broken up with Yinka two years ago. 

She should have a huzband by now, right?

Maybe so. Yinka had to admit that romance would be nice, and so she created a spreadsheet and filled it with sticky-note ideas, vowing that she’d have a date for Rachel’s wedding. She agreed to let Aunty Debby fix her up with Alex, but he was pretty clear that he really liked Yinka’s BFF, Nana. Yinka went online, on many dating sites and she swiped, swiped, swiped. She considered Derek, but she didn’t like him like that. Donovan was kind of a jerk, Marcus wanted just one thing (ahem!), and Emmanuel had someone with lighter skin in mind. 

And so, Yinka began to look harder. She even considered men she rejected once before but the more she looked for a date-slash-potential huzband, the more her other relationships suffered. Now, nobody wanted to be around Yinka. Where’s the happily-ever-after in that?

At this point in your life, the pandemic, your career, whatever, you’ve had your fill of nosy-but-well-meaning questions and advice you don’t need. And so, “Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?” is a book for you.

Indeed, this sweet little rom-com removes any sting a busybody might leave by taking the ultimate in none-of-your-business literature and turning it upside down. Author Lizzie Damilola Blackburn inserts way too many meddlers into Yinka’s life, and the resulting mess is hilarious — especially when the lies pile up and readers are given a peek at several obvious solutions, only one of which has anything to do with a huzband. Not to be a spoiler or anything, but peace is made, but not before readers get the lightest touch of feminism from this completely enjoyable story.

Beware that there are Briticisms inside this novel but nothing that’s too difficult to understand. Mostly, understand that “Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?” is going to just plain make you happy.

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