Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Yinka starts off the novel with one goal in mind: finding a date to Rachel’s wedding. Throughout the course of the book, we witness her considering multiple partners. Were you surprised by what happened with Yinka, Alex, and Nana? How did you expect the story to end?
2. Yinka often feels like the odd one out among her friends because she takes a different approach to sex and alcohol than they do; many of her friends are at different stages of their careers and personal lives. What advice do you have for those who want to maintain relationships with people who have different lifestyles or values?
3. Throughout the novel, Yinka finds herself in situations where her “worlds blend” when two distinct cultures and social groups come together. Have you ever found yourself in a similar scenario? If so, what happened?
4. Yinka is shaken when she’s let go from her job. It takes a while for Yinka to realize that it may be a blessing in disguise. Have you experienced a door opening while another closed? Were you able to embrace the change or was it a challenge?
5. Nana has a tattoo that says, “I am who I say I am.” Later, Yinka writes the phrase on a Post-it note as a reminder to herself when she’s feeling insecure. What do you think this phrase means, and why? Does the line resonate with you as well?
6. Midway through the novel, Yinka’s plan is going poorly, and she accepts a date with Marcus, whom she meets through a dating app—but later, he ghosts her. Here, Yinka runs into issues with communication, consent, and knowing what she wants. What could they each have done in order to make their experience one they both enjoyed?
7. Yinka feels pressure from her family and friends, leading her to make significant changes throughout the novel—in her physical appearance, her career path, and her connection to Nigerian culture. Do you think Yinka does a good job balancing her desires against others’ opinions and expectations?
8. When Femi confesses to Yinka that he regrets ending their relationship, Yinka realizes that she has finally recovered from the breakup. What do you think helped her move past her feelings of heartbreak? Have you ever been in a situation when something clicked, and you knew your feelings had changed?
9. When Yinka and Donovan reunite at a Sanctuary volunteering event, Yinka is surprised by how much she enjoys his company. She soon sees Donovan as a good friend and, perhaps, something more. People often say that the best basis for a relationship is a strong friendship—do you agree? Have you ever had a romantic relationship evolve out of a friendship?
10. Yinka works to better understand her mother and sister, especially since each of them has different feelings about their Nigerian heritage and traditional relationships. Have you ever had to do similar work in a relationship?
11. Yinka notices that dark-skinned women are often treated differently than lighter-skinned or mixed-raced women because of Eurocentric beauty standards. With the help of counselling, she realizes that some of her insecurities stem from colorism. How do you view or understand colorism, and what role does it play in today’s society? How can we help break its generational cycle?