Chapter 1 Summary of Bayo Adebowale’s “Lonely Days”

Chapter One of Lonely Days gives a glimpse into Yaremi's emotion struggles and the challenges she faces following the death of her husband.


Bayo Adebowale’s novel, Lonely Days, opens its narrative by introducing readers to Yaremi, the central character and heroine of the story.

Chapter One of Lonely Days gives a glimpse into Yaremi’s emotion struggles and the challenges she faces following the death of her husband, Ajumobi. This chapter sets the stage for an exploration of themes such as love, loss, loneliness, dedication, and the passage of time.

The chapter begins with Yaremi’s recollection of the day her husband passed away. Her vivid memory of a star descending from the sky at that moment creates a lasting impression on her, leading her to believe that Ajumobi has found solace in paradise. This celestial imagery not only reflects Yaremi’s emotional state but also hints at her deep sense of spirituality and connection with the cosmos.


Yaremi’s decision to keep her mourning quiet, fearing that malevolent individuals might exploit her lamentation to cause trouble, showcases her resilience and consideration for others.

She expresses gratitude to Almighty God that Ajumobi did not meet an untimely or tragic death, reflecting her steadfast devotion and faith. Ajumobi’s peaceful passing on his sickbed with a farewell gesture adds to the bittersweetness of Yaremi’s memories. The lines of disappointment on his face in his final moments leave Yaremi with a sense of unease and powerlessness to mend any potential grievances.

This portrayal underscores Yaremi’s role as a dedicated, loving, and submissive wife, emphasizing the complexities of her emotions.

Lonely Days by Bayo Adebowale

The narrative then transitions to Yaremi’s current situation as an abandoned widow. Her daughters, Wura and Segi, have married and moved away from the village, and her son, Alani, is engaged in his furniture-making trade in Ibadan. Yaremi’s solitude is palpable as she undertakes the responsibilities that once were shared with her husband.

The challenges Yaremi faces as she works tirelessly to cultivate her crops and engage in tie and dye activities demonstrate her strength and determination. She traverses distant markets to sell her wares. The appearance of Uncle Deyo, Ajumobi’s friend, to assist her with repairs to her hut serves as a reminder of the community’s willingness to support her.

Yaremi’s relationship with her grandchild, Woye, presents another layer of her character. Their collaboration in beating taffeta cloths reveals Yaremi’s role as a mentor, nurturing Woye’s work ethic and discipline. Yaremi’s rejection of procrastination and her insistence on immediate hard work convey her belief in the importance of diligence.

Moreover, Yaremi’s memories of her own youth, marked by an ability to sing numerous work-songs and pleat taffeta cloths, serve as a contrast to her present circumstances. This juxtaposition emphasizes the passage of time and the transformation of her life. Through Yaremi’s admiration for Woye’s enthusiasm and work ethic, we witness her yearning to regain a sense of vitality and purpose.

In conclusion, Chapter One of Lonely Days sets the tone for a rich exploration of Yaremi’s emotional journey.

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