This Motherless Land

This Motherless Land


From the prize-winning author of WAHALA, a powerful de-colonial retelling of MANSFIELD PARK, exploring identity, culture, race and love

'A spirited exploration of culture and kinship' BONNIE GARMUS
'Deeply emotional and entertaining' EMMA STONEX, author of The Lamplighters
Tugs at the heartstrings' DAMILARE KUKU, author of Nearly all the Men in Lagos are Mad
When Funke’s mother dies in an accident in Lagos, she’s sent to live with her maternal family in England. Against a backdrop of condescension and mild neglect, sensible Funke strives to fit in, determined to become one of them.

Free-spirited Liv has always wanted to break free of her joyless family, to be nothing like them. Fiercely protective of Funke, she at last has an ally. The two cousins give each other what they need most: love.

But the past casts long shadows and the choices made by their mothers haunt them, shaping the trajectory of their adult lives. Can they escape their legacy?

Witty, warm, hugely entertaining, This Motherless Land bridges three decades and two continents, delving into the thorny territories of race and culture and belonging. At its heart is a story about love and how it can make the difference between surviving and thriving.

Praise for This Motherless Land:

'A fierce and evocative retelling of Mansfield Park' BETH MORREY

'Utter perfection from start to finish, This Motherless Land broke my heart then put it back together.' LAURA MARSHALL, author of Friend Request

'A spirited exploration of culture and kinship--of how we belong, and to whom' BONNIE GARMUS

'A fantastic book. Highly original' LIZ NUGENT, author of Strange Sally Diamond

'Proves that love has the power to save a life again and again. Deeply emotional and entertaining, this is a novel to treasure' EMMA STONEX, author of The Lamplighters

'Brilliantly observant, funny, moving and addictive read. I loved it' KATE SAWYER

'A vibrant coming-of-age story that explores love, longing and belonging in a multi-cultural family' CHARMAINE WILKERSON, bestselling author of Black Cake

'Utter perfection from start to finish, This Motherless Land broke my heart then put it back together.' LAURA MARSHALL, author of Friend Request

'Gripping and poignant' NITA PROSE, bestselling author of The Maid

'Beautiful, bold and addictive' DAISY BUCHANAN


  • 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.

About the author

Nikki May

Born in Bristol and raised in Lagos, Nikki May is Anglo-Nigerian. Her critically acclaimed debut novel WAHALA won the Comedy Women In Print New Voice Prize, was longlisted for the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award and the Diverse Books Award, and is being turned into a major BBC TV drama series.

THIS MOTHERLESS LAND is her second novel.
Nikki lives in Dorset with her husband, two standard Schnauzers and way too many books. She should be working on her third book but is probably reading.

Twitter/X: @NikkiOMay
Instagram: @NikkiMayWriter
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