His Only Wife

Pages: 288
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

His Only Wife

A Reese's Book Club Pick - 'Bursting with warmth, humour, and richly drawn characters'

Peace Adzo Medie

A captivating debut about defying expectations, hilarious and hopeful in equal measure
9780861540693 (31 Mar 2021)
RRP £14.99
9780861541454 (7 Oct 2021)
RRP £8.99

The Book



'Vivid, witty and utterly absorbing.' Daily Mail

In one of the most talked about and hilarious debuts of the year, Afi Tekple, a bright young seamstress from a small town in Ghana, is convinced by her family to marry a man she has never met. 

Elikem Ganyo is a wealthy businessman whose family has chosen Afi in the hope that she will distract him from a relationship with another woman they think is inappropriate. 

The fact that she doesn't know Elikem seems a small price to pay for a marriage that offers her family financial security and provides the key to a lifestyle she has always wanted. But when Afi arrives in Accra, Ghana's gleaming capital, she realises her fairy-tale ending might not be all she had hoped for...

His Only Wife is a life-affirming, must-read novel about a young woman's search for independence in a man's world, and the rules she just might have to break along the way. 

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 288
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Peace Adzo Medie is a Ghanaian writer and Senior Lecturer in Gender and International Politics at the University of Bristol. The author of Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2020), she holds a PhD in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Geography from the University of Ghana. She was born in Liberia.


'This fierce young woman's struggle for independence in a city that is way out of step with the time-honoured traditions of the rural village in which she grew up is vivid, witty and utterly absorbing.'

- Daily Mail

'I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast... It's all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.'

- Reese Witherspoon

'Mesmerising... This is not a book to read with one eye on a beach volleyball tournament; it's a story to soak up in silence, on a long, cloudy afternoon when you have time to think.'

- New York Times

'With characters making questionable decisions and a rather brilliant ending, this is a good old-fashion book club read that'll leave you arguing about character motivations and morals.'


- Stylist

'A Cinderella story set in Ghana... A Crazy Rich Asians for West Africa, with a healthy splash of feminism.'

- Kirkus (starred review)

'Bursting with warmth, humour and richly drawn characters you can't help but root for.'

- Cosmopolitan

'A hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut.'

- Wayetu Moore, author of She Would Be King

'I couldn't put down His Only Wife, which made me nostalgic for the food, frills, and folly of Ghana. Peace Adzo Medie's sentences are packed with muscle, beauty, and hilarity. Even though I was rooting for Afi's happiness in her arranged marriage, I didn't see that beauty of a twist coming at the end.'

- Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of The Deep Blue Between

'In her debut novel, Medie writes with a precise rhythm that builds the reader's anticipation. Themes like deception, ambition, love, and values drench the pages with conflict that evolves into an emotional rollercoaster.'

- Booklist

'This stirring tale sings when Afi learns to flex her limited power.'

- Publishers Weekly

'Afi's charm makes her an empowering example of modern womanhood... Its message bold and its viewpoint appealing, His Only Wife is an inspiring novel.'

- Foreword Reviews

'Medie gives Afi a voice that winningly combines insecurity, wisdom and dignity... The dramas of Afi's marriage and various family conflicts offer an entertaining plot rich with humour, but it is the story of the strong woman in a challenging and changing world that will capture readers' hearts. His Only Wife is a memorable novel of personal growth and choosing one's own destiny... [A] winning debut.'

- Shelf Awareness

'A fierce and funny debut novel... A deeply engrossing chronicle of contemporary Ghanaian womanhood.'

- Minneapolis Star Tribune

'A fierce and funny first novel...[that] cleverly upends a Cinderella story into a tale of feminism.'

- People

'A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose... Medie depicts a vivid and dazzling Accra, and it's impossible not to root for Afi as she finds her footing within it.'

- BuzzFeed

'In her sparkling debut novel, Ghanaian writer and academic Peace Adzo Medie uses humour, candour and feminism to examine womanhood, marriage and agency in modern Ghana.'

- Ms. Magazine

'A witty Cinderella portrait of modern life and love.'

- Parade

'A unique and unapologetic marriage story that shines with honesty, humanity, power and grace: once you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down. Medie's urgent, intimate voice is exactly what the world needs right now.'

- Mathangi Subramanian, author of A People's History of Heaven

'Combining heart and humour with a hearty dose of feminism, Peace Adzo Medie's debut is an illuminating and empowering read with a heroine you will remember for a long time.'

- Book Reporter

'A fierce and funny study of modern womanhood within Ghanaian culture.'

- Cosmopolitan: Best Books of Autumn, 2020

'Medie belongs to a long line of talented women writers who show [Ghana's] rich culture and history to be bountiful sources of inspiration.'

- Book Browse

'This rich, rewarding debut novel follows a Ghanaian seamstress — forced into an arranged marriage with a wealthy man she has never met — on her journey of self-discovery.' 

- New York Times, Notable Books of 2020

'A refreshingly modern Ghanaian love story.'

- Marie Claire

'[A] witty riff on the Cinderella fairytale.'

- Sainsbury's Magazine

'Engaging, provocative... There is an easy, fluid style to the writing, quick intimacy with character and a kind of innocent humour… Throughout the book there are bright daubs of Ghanaian life… It all flows remarkably well in a memorable debut from a writer whose frustrations with certain aspects of the culture of her homeland come brilliantly to life.'

- Irish Times

'A young Ghanaian woman embarks on a questionable marriage in this entertaining comedy of manners.'

- i, '30 great books for Easter'

'If you are looking to escape to another country, take a trip to Ghana with His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie... Throughout the novel there are mouthwatering descriptions of yam stews, bustling markets and beautiful homes and apartments in Accra, but best of all it's all underpinned by a warm coming-of-age-tale mixed in with a subtle takedown of the patriarchy. If that doesn't convince you, it's also a Reese Witherspoon pick for her book club.'

- The Sunday Times (South Africa)

'Adzo Medie's highly praised debut… is a captivating modern love story with a refreshingly different twist.'

- Daily Mail, 'Must Reads'

'Adzo Medie's highly praised debut… is a captivating modern love story with a refreshingly different twist.'

- Daily Mail, 'Must Reads'

'A warm and moving tale… His Only Wife is utterly transporting - Medie's use of Ghanaian dialect, rich descriptions of traditional foods and an insight into cultural practices make readers feel like they are completely immersed in Afi's world… Afi's strength is inspiring, and I guarantee that all readers will feel inspired to consider who we truly are and what we value when we stop worrying about the judgement of others.'

- NB Magazine, Recommended Book for October

'Riveting... A very human tale with finely drawn believable characters, family relationships and a great deal of humour, giving a glimpse of life in Ghana.' 

- NB Magazine

'This modern Cinderella story doesn't sugar-coat the reality of poverty, family obligations and arranged marriages, but Medie depicts it with a light touch, her likeable heroine negotiating her way through her predicament with intelligence and pragmatism.'

- Herald (Glagow)