This Motherless Land

A Novel

by Nikki May

On Sale: 10/29/2024

This Motherless Land

Enlarge Book Cover

This Motherless Land

A Novel

by Nikki May

On Sale: 10/29/2024


About the Book

From the acclaimed author of Wahala, a “vibrant” (Charmaine Wilkerson) decolonial retelling of Mansfield Park, exploring identity, culture, race, and love.

Quiet Funke is happy in Nigeria. She loves her art teacher mother, her professor father, and even her annoying little brother (most of the time). But when tragedy strikes, she’s sent to England, a place she knows only from her mother’s stories. To her dismay, she finds the much-lauded estate dilapidated, the food tasteless, the weather grey. Worse still, her mother’s family are cold and distant. With one exception: her cousin Liv.

Free-spirited Liv has always wanted to break free of her joyless family. She becomes fiercely protective of her little cousin, and her warmth and kindness give Funke a place to heal. The two girls grow into adulthood the closest of friends.

But the choices their mothers made haunt Funke and Liv and when a second tragedy occurs their friendship is torn apart. Against the long shadow of their shared family history, each woman will struggle to chart a path forward, separated by country, misunderstanding, and ambition.

Moving between Somerset and Lagos over the course of two decades, This Motherless Land is a sweeping examination of identity, culture, race, and love that asks how we find belonging and whether a family’s generational wrongs can be righted.

Critical Praise

"A spirited exploration of culture and kinship -- of how we belong, and to whom." — Bonnie Garmus, New York Times bestselling author of Lessons in Chemistry

"A vibrant coming-of-age story that explores loss, longing, and belonging in a multicultural family. I never stopped believing in the bond between troubled cousins Funke and Liv, despite their cultural differences. This Motherless Land paints a memorable picture of a British-Nigerian girl struggling with loss and identity amid two cultures." — Charmaine Wilkerson, New York Times bestselling author of Black Cake

“A gripping and poignant family saga that illuminates the lasting bond between two extraordinary cousins. I was completely immersed in this entrancing story.” — Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid and The Mystery Guest

"This Motherless Land is utterly captivating—this book is beautiful, bold and addictive. I could read Nikki May’s words forever. I felt bereft when I got to the end; I didn’t want to leave Funke and Liv. This novel crackles with electricity and pulses with love. For me, May is a must-read author, and I think this is a book that readers will be falling in love with for years to come. She’s one of the absolute best storytellers writing right now."  — Daisy Buchanan, award-winning journalist and author of Limelight

"This Motherless Land takes Nikki May's writing to new heights. It's a novel about so many things - identity, belonging and acceptance; sisterhood, family and forgiveness - all wrapped up in the most compulsive and moving story. Funke and Liv gripped me from the start and didn't let go - their bond proves, across continents and decades, through adversity, prejudices and sacrifice, that love has the power to save a life again and again. Deeply emotional and wildly entertaining, this is a novel to treasure." — Emma Stonex, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lamplighters

"Fresh and fearless, This Motherless Land kept me furiously turning the pages late into the night. This ambitious, richly textured novel effortlessly explores family, culture, class and love, and cements May’s position as a bold and powerful new voice. Her prose is as vibrant as her plotting - superb." — Sarah Pearse, New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium 

“The novel’s strength lies in May’s attention to her main characters’ identities. ...May’s breezy prose is well suited for 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 on Wahala

“Sharply observed…sophisticated and culturally adept…May is a masterful chronicler of Black upper-middle-class life 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 of competition that runs through so many friendships and daily interactions and, most of all, how easily intimacy can morph into enmity." —

"Contemporary female friendship goes glam in this lively debut novel with remarkable depth." — Washington Post on Wahala

"A stunning new novel! A true delight of a story — beautiful and extremely enjoyable. A worthy follow-up to Wahala." — Dipo Faloyin, author of Africa Is Not a Country

"At the core of it, This Motherless Land is a love story (not the romantic kind) between Liv and Funke, the cousins that life showed real pepper but they came out winning. Nikki May writes with the intent to tug at the heartstrings and she does exactly that with this book." — Damilare Kuku, author of Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow

"A fierce and evocative retelling of Mansfield Park. Funke and Liv are cousins, united (and torn apart) by tragedy and neglect, finding their place in the world. It's a vivid, moving and epic family saga." — Beth Morrey, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Love Story of Missy Carmichael

"Told by the most wonderful authentic characters, I loved it." — Jennie Godfrey, author of The List of Suspicious Things


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063084292
  • ISBN 10: 0063084295
  • Imprint: Mariner Books
  • On Sale: 10/29/2024
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price:37.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Cultural Heritage
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Adaptations & Pastiche
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Family Life
  • BISAC5 : FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC6 : FICTION / African American / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC7 : FICTION: Diversity & Multicultural

This Motherless Land by Nikki May

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.


Specialty Booksellers

Interest-specific online venues and gift accounts that offer books for purchase. The links will take you to the store’s home page.

International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.