Wahala (Hardback)
  • Wahala (Hardback)

Wahala (Hardback)

Hardback 384 Pages
Published: 06/01/2022
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Three mixed-race friends navigate frustrated hopes and thwarted love in modern London, as a single terrible act threatens to spin their lives out of control in this darkly funny and scalpel sharp debut perfect for fans of Queenie and Expectation.

Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English. Not all of them choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her urban vibe yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them. Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

Explosive, hilarious and wildly entertaining, this razor-sharp tale of love, race and family will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Fearlessly political about class, colourism and clothes, the spellbinding Wahala is for anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9780857527783
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 498 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 35 mm


Refreshing and original. Portrays a London steeped in the colours and sounds of Lagos - SUNDAY TIMES, Best popular fiction books of 2022 so far

Full of food, humour and pitch-perfect observation - STYLIST MAGAZINE, Books you cannot miss in 2022

All the ride or die realness of female friendship is captured perfectly in this funny, multi-layered, just-another-chapter-before-you-turn-out-the-light novel. - RED MAGAZINE

This is the book on everyone's lips...a razor-sharp book about friendship that will have you on the edge of your seat. With a cast of engaging characters, this bold tale of friendship, race and love will leave you marvelling at this fresh new voice in fiction. One of 2022's most exciting debuts - MY WEEKLY, Editor's Pick

It's surprising, it's fun, it's incredibly funny and will give you characters you'll take to your heart in all their flawed glory, keeping you hooked to the very last page - Editor's Choice, BBC Radio 4 'Open Book'

Beautifully written and fabulously fresh debut. It's sad, funny, clever and contains important messages. Utterly addictive and my hands-down favourite this week - DAILY MAIL

I have a feeling this book is going to be huge! It examines friendships that are held together by the thinnest of threads, all the doubts and questions that come from the choices women face, self-destruction, good intentions, bad intentions and a creeping sense of... well, trouble - MARIANNE CRONIN, author of THE ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT

A gloriously biting story of secrets and friendships - FABULOUS MAGAZINE

''Wahala' means 'trouble' and there's plenty of it in this entertaining debut. A fascinating, funny and nuanced look at identity and female friendship - GUARDIAN

Has all the makings of a modern blockbuster - VOGUE

Pull up a seat at the brunch table for this delicious debut novel as the lives of three women are unsettled by a seductive interloper. WAHALA is like the best gossip with friends: witty, tense, addictive - ABIGAIL DEAN, author of GIRL A

A fun and juicy read with a dash of drama, just like all the best friendships - GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

I just raced through Wahala. Nikki May writes so well about friendship, food, fashion and the many ways modern women can stumble in their careers and personal lives - CLARE CHAMBERS, author of SMALL PLEASURES

Wow, what a debut! I was left wanting more - more of Ronke, Boo and Simi and more of Nikki's brilliant writing about food and friendship. Warm and fun, I loved watching the more sinister side to the story emerge. Fantastic! - SARAH PEARSE, author of THE SANATORIUM

A funny, tragic, piercing portrait of modern women and friendship written in glittering and discerning prose - EMMA STONEX, Author of THE LAMPLIGHTERS

WAHALA delivers! Nikki's style is warm and comforting on one page and razor-sharp on the next. There's a twist folks, and it's not one I saw coming. - LIZZY DENT, author of THE SUMMER JOB and THE SET-UP

Sometimes it's not enough to just read a novel, you actually want to climb inside it. I adored hanging out with Ronke, Boo and Simi and I miss them already. - CLARE POOLEY, author of THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

Bold, juicy and real! WAHALA is tense and powerful, it's friendship at its best and its worst, and it's THE book to read this year! - LAUREN NORTH, author of SAFE AT HOME

Sharp, precise, unapologetic, modern. In one word, Exquisite! - Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström, author of IN EVERY MIRROR SHE'S BLACK

Dazzling and bursting with life. WAHALA is as joyous, complex and all-encompassing as female friendship itself. I loved it. - TAMMY COHEN, author of THE WEDDING PARTY

LOVED Wahala. Funny and sharp - I completely fell in love with the characters. Definitely one to add to your list - LAURA MARSHALL, Author of FRIEND REQUEST

Dark, fresh, compelling - all about female friendship and with an outstanding cast of vibrant loveable (and not-so-loveable) characters - ELIZABETH KAY, Author of SEVEN LIES

Fast-paced and filled with witty dialogue, and the book explores the depth and complexity of friendships between women - INDEPENDENT: 10 BEST BOOKS BY BLACK AUTHORS

Wildly entertaining - THE BOOKSELLER

I LOVED this absolute cracker of a book about the cuckoo in the next and a toxic female friendship. Highly recommended - LIZ NUGENT, author of LYING IN WAIT and OUR LITTLE CRUELTIES

I loved hanging out with Ronke, Simi and Boo. A brilliant portrayal of how complicated friendships can sometimes be - NINA POTTELL

This story draws you in and spits you out, breathless. Echoes of Atwood's The Robber Bride but so its own thing. A treat. - KATE SAWYER, author of THE STRANDING

A heady mix of friendship, dark comedy and murder. WAHALA is razor-sharp - OK! MAGAZINE

May's nuanced exploration of race and gender makes this refreshing. This will leave readers intrigued to see what May does next - PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

A terrific, witty debut - I-NEWS

WAHALA hooked me from page one and kept me enthralled till the (TWIST!) end. A riot of colour and noise, friendships, enemies, secrets, lies and soul food. Written with a lightness of touch. Insightful, clever, and honest. I will read anything and everything she writes - ERICKA WALLER, author of DOG DAYS

This gripping debut is a journey of friendship, revenge and finding your true self - STYLIST MAGAZINE

Nikki May builds a propulsive reading experience as she slowly reveals Isobel's manipulations while keeping the reasons behind them hidden. Compelling character studies of each of the women don't shy away from the jealousies and judgements that sometimes make the line between friend and enemy razor thin...A fascinating look at the dark side of female friendship - KIRKUS

A funny brilliant read - BELLA

This will satisfy hungry appetites and blow your thriller taste buds. Deliciously spicy - HEAT MAGAZINE, Read of the Week

Nikki May's sharp and funny debut novel is a delight on many levels. WAHALA bursts with life from start to finish - DAILY EXPRESS, 'Books of 2022'

May seamlessly weaves love, betrayal, self-reflection, and Nigerian food, clothing, and customs into this fast-paced debut...Fans of domestic suspense will revel in this tale of friendship, family, and forgiveness, set in the cultural milieu of Lagos - LIBRARY JOURNAL

Sharp and darkly witty - CULTURE FLY

A rapid and wildly hilarious page-turner - COUNTRY AND TOWN HOUSE

A hotly tipped debut for 2022 - DAILY EXPRESS

WAHALA combines a frank and daring exploration of modern female friendship with a dark, punchy thriller - WOMAN AND HOME

Fabulously fun - PRIMA MAGAZINE

May's skill for weaving together entertaining personal problems with a wistfulness for Nigerian food, customs and culture is unparalleled. WAHALA is hard to put down - an energetic, entertaining interrogation of a fundamentally flawed friendship - I-NEWS

Refreshing and original. Exhilarating - SUNDAY TIMES, Best Popular Fiction of 2022

Contemporary female friendship goes glam in this lively debut novel with remarkable depth - WASHINGTON POST

I would definitely recommend this book to friends. I already have! - Recommended Read, BBC Radio 2 Book Club

Sharply observed ... sophisticated and culturally adept ... May is a masterful chronicler of Black upper-middle-class lie and ennui in Britain. WAHALA is both great fun and extremely smart in how it captures some of the central issues in modern city living: women's evolving roles in home and work, interracial relationships and multicultural identity, the current competition that runs through so many friendships and daily interactions and, most of all, how easily intimacy can morph into enmity - NPR.ORG

Witty-wity-edge. Its humour is pin sharp - THE SHIFT, Sam Baker's Summer Reading

A dazzling, rich and efferverscent read. It's relevant and full of life. The killer edge was unexpectedly shocking. Just fantastic in every way - NB MAGAZINE

A glorious read - STYLIST MAGAZINE, 'The Style List'

Spicy as Aunty K's moin moin, satisfying as a plate of Ronke's jollof rice - SAGA MAGAZINE

Pacy, fun and gripping ... May wanted to write "a brown Sex and the City, or a brown Big Little Lies" - we reckon WAHALA could be just as big - EVENING STANDARD, Faces of 2022

Like "Sex and the City" but set in London. And with mystery. And murder - COSMOPOLITAN

The upshot is a funny, slightly murdery story about three women and their wahala, or "trouble" - their boyfriends, their professional aspirations, and their weaves - GLAMOUR MAGAZINE

The novel's strength lies in May's attention to her main character's identities. May's breezy prose is well-suited to these moments of casual intimacy, unfolding over drinks, at the hairdresser's or at the kitchen table, where all the best gossip takes place - NEW YORK TIMES

Some of the smartest reading fun I've had all year - DAISY BUCHANAN

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“Great Read!”

Thank you to the publishers for this early review copy… I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from it.
It had been compared to a few recent and very popular books, some of which I had read… but still I wasn’t entirely... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 16

“Brilliant Read!”

Thank you to the publishers for this early review copy... I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from it.
It had been compared to a few recent and very popular books, some of which I had read... but still I... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 16

“Fun, fast paced, shocking - this will be huge in 2022”

This is the extremely dramatic debut from Nikki May and there’s already quite a buzz about this book due out in January 2022 as it’s set to be turned into a major TV series. The story is told in alternating chapters... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 14

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