Blog Tour: Yinka, where is your huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

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Yinka wants to find love. Her mum wants to find it for her.

She also has too many aunties who frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, a preference for chicken and chips over traditional Nigerian food, and a bum she’s sure is far too small as a result. Oh, and the fact that she’s a thirty-one-year-old South-Londoner who doesn’t believe in sex before marriage is a bit of an obstacle too…

When her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences ‘Operation Find A Date for Rachel’s Wedding’. Armed with a totally flawless, incredibly specific plan, will Yinka find herself a huzband?

What if the thing she really needs to find is herself?

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for Yinka, where is your huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn. My thanks to Viking Books for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing me with a paperback proof of the book for the purposes of review. I have reviewed the book honestly and impartially as always.

In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Or in this case, a young woman’s fancy. Although there isn’t much light about Yinka’s pursuit of a relationship in this fantastic debut novel by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn. Yinka is desperate to find a relationship, driven half to madness by the demands of her religious, Nigerian family that she find a huzband before she is left on the shelf forever. After all, at the age of 31, her singledom is becoming a real embarrassment to them all, to the point where they are driven to publicly praying to God to find her a partner.

But desperation is never a great basis for making decisions and Yinka ends up making some very unwise ones during her pursuit of love. Luckily, she is surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast of friends, workmates, sage ‘Aunties’ and sensible sisters to guide her back to the right path for her. Whether or not this eventually leads to marriage…well that remains to be seen.

I absolutely adored this book. It is a joyous, unputdownable romp through the trials and tribulations of being a young woman dating in the Nigerian community and I raced through it. It is by turns funny, informative, heart-breaking and uplifting but, by the end, you will feel like you have made a new best friend and will have had your faith in humanity restored. Not bad for a few hours between the pages of a book, I’m sure you’ll agree.

In Yinka, the author has created a character that is sympathetic and relatable, whilst at the same time allowing us to explore a culture that many of us will not be familiar with. I just loved Yinka from the very first page of the book, and truly felt for her all the way through. The pressure of expectation and conformity is something that most of us will be able to relate to, regardless of where we come from or how we were raised, and this is one of the main themes of the book. How easy is it to hold on to our true selves when other people, people we love and want to please, have expectations of us that don’t fit comfortably? How easy is it not to assume there is something wrong with us, that we need to change to find love, following rejection? These are issues that the book explores, against the back drop of the particular pressure put on young women within the Nigerian community, and of trying to uphold strict Christian values in our modern, liberal society.

As well as this, there are themes of family relationships, inter-generational tensions, the strains put on young women by social media and modern beauty expectations and, above all, the power of female friendship. There is so much going on in this story, so much to make you think, but it is all handled with humour, a light touch and real warmth and love. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel, it is such an accomplished piece of writing, and a real joy to read.

Waterstones are releasing Yinka, where is your huzband? in a beautiful, special edition hardback with sprayed edges. I can’t wait for my copy to arrive and I suggest you pre-order your copy as soon as you can. This is going to be one of THE books of 2022 and worth every penny it will cost you to buy. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Yinka, where is your huzband? will be published on 31 March in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats and you can pre-order your copy here.

Please do check out some of the other blogs taking part in the tour for this book as detailed below:

Yinka, Where is Your Huzband Tour 6 copy

About the Author

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Lizzie Damilola Blackburn is a British-Nigerian writer, born in Peckham, who wants to tell the stories that she and her friends have longed for but never seen – romcoms ‘where Cinderella is Black and no-one bats an eyelid’. In 2019 she won the Literary Consultancy Pen Factor Writing Competition with the early draft of Yinka, Where is your Huzband?, which she had been writing alongside juggling her job at Carers UK. She has been at the receiving end of the question in the title of her novel many times, and now lives with her husband in Milton Keynes.

Connect with Lizzie:

Website: https://lizziedamilolablackburn.com

Twitter: @DamilolaLizzie

Instagram: @lizziedamiblackburn

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