The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. In “Books and Roses” one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers’ fates. In “Is Your Blood as Red as This?” an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. “‘Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea” involves a “house of locks,” where doors can be closed only with a key—with surprising, unobservable developments. And in “If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason for That Don't You Think,” a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason).
Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation?
I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Oyeyemi’s work but in particular, What is Not Yours is Not Yours. I loved this short story collection and I highly recommend it. While each story is a different and original one, I loved that some of the characters overlapped and appeared in various stories as side characters. Oyeyemi manages to mix realism with fantasy so well and I just loved the variety of stories. Some I loved more than others but in general, I adored every single one. Oyeyemi’s writing is beautiful and this is definitely not the last of her work that I’ll read. If you’re looking for a wonderful diverse short story collection, I recommend What is Not Yours is Not Yours.