This post contains affiliate links. What can I say? From the minute I opened The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré, I loved the main character, Adunni. This is a fabulous book that I highly recommend!
About The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
Adunni is a 14 year old girl growing up in Nigeria. She had a fairly happy, contented life, going to school and helping to take care of her two brothers, until her mother died. Before she died, her mother made Adunni’s father promise that he would continue Adunni’s education. He agreed, but within a short time after her death, money became tight. He didn’t have money, so he arranged for Adunni to marry a local taxi driver in his 60s, Morufu. Adunni will be his third wife.
When Adunni marries Morufu, her life is shattered, but her family benefits. Morufu gives her family many gifts before the marriage, and after the marriage, he continues to give them food and money. (Before Adunni is married, her father eagerly anticipates being able to buy a TV from the marriage money.)
Adunni feels her life is doomed and that she will never get an education after her marriage. Once at Morufu’s house, Adunni finds that the first wife is mean to her, but the second wife is kind. The second wife’s kindness is the only reason Adunni can find any contentment.
But tragedy strikes, and Adunni runs away rather than be unjustly accused for a crime she didn’t commit.
After she runs away, Adunni’s life takes unbelievable twists and turns, and she finds kindness and guidance in unexpected places.
Adunni always dreams of getting an education so she can be the girl with the louding voice. By the end of the story, she is just that–a girl who has a loud voice that affects and touches other people.
To read an equally powerful book about a young girl growing up in Nigeria, consider reading Purple Hibiscus.
My Thoughts on This Book
I find it hard to believe that The Girl with the Louding Voice is Daré’s debut novel. It is fabulous! I can only hope that there is a sequel because I’d love to read more about Adunni.
I’ll admit, reading this book was sometimes difficult. Reading about girls as marriage bargaining chips, as ways for their families to secure regular income and food, was challenging. But it’s not just the young, poor girls who are vulnerable. Even wealthy women are vulnerable to mistreatment and superstitions. Suffice it to say, almost all of the women in this book suffer in some way. At one point, Adunni asks herself, “Why are the women of Nigeria seem to be suffering for everything more than the men?”
Still, by the end of the book, the three main women in this book find their lives changing for the better, though I believe only two of them (Adunni included) will see lifelong change.
I highly recommend this book.
5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.