A Spell of Good Things

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2023

Ayobami Adebayo author


Publisher:Canongate Books

Published:1st Feb '24


Available for immediate dispatch.

A Spell of Good Things cover


A dazzling story of modern Nigeria and two families caught in the riptides of wealth, power, romantic obsession and political corruption.

Eniola is tall for his age, a boy who looks like a man. His father has lost his job, so Eniola spends his days running errands for the local tailor and begging, dreaming of a big future.

Wuraola is a golden girl, the perfect child of a wealthy family. Now an exhausted young doctor in her first year of practice, she is beloved by Kunle, the volatile son of family friends.

When a local politician takes an interest in Eniola and sudden violence shatters a family party, Wuraola and Eniola's lives become unexpectedly intertwined. In this breathtaking novel, Ayobami Adebayo shines her light on Nigeria, the gaping divides in its society, and the shared humanity that lives in between.

Adebayo is carving a real name for herself as a chronicler of moving Nigeria-set stories with sociopolitical subtexts and a Dickensian flavour . . . Profound * * Observer * *
A moving story, skilfully told, about Eniola, a boy whose future has been snatched away from him, and Wuraola, a talented, overworked junior doctor, whose intertwined narratives combine to produce an insightful portrait of an unequal and deeply divided society moving towards a terrible crisis. A Spell of Good Things is both gripping and memorable -- PAT BARKER
A powerful, staggering read * * Booker Prize 2023 * *
An outstanding read -- ANITA RANI * * BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour * *
Heart-rending . . . a breeze to read, despite the weightiness of its subject matter . . . Adebayo handles her characters with empathy and nuance, showing their vulnerabilities, yearnings, shame and delusions * * Financial Times * *
Adebayo humanizes those sucked into the vortex of [. . . ] power with striking compassion - the characters' misjudgments and delusions are deeply and empathetically imagined, wholly alive * * New York Times * *
Couldn't be more timely. It's as much about politics as it is a story of toxic relationships, coming of age, and finding the courage to do the right thing -- AFUA HIRSCH
A portrait of domestic strife and political tensions in Nigeria -- Michael Donkor * * Guardian * *
Spellbinding . . . Beautiful writing and a story that we found truly unforgettable * * Glamour UK * *
A triumph . . . a shrewdly-observed, intricate story about power, politics, and poverty, and one which renders Nigeria in high-definition colour * * i * *

  • Short-listed for People's Book Prize – Fiction 2023 (UK)
  • Long-listed for The Booker Prize 2023 (UK)
  • Long-listed for Dylan Thomas Prize 2024 (UK)

ISBN: 9781838856076

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 21mm

Weight: 236g

352 pages