The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

by

[Tricia]

This coming-of-age story of a fourteen year old girl in Nigeria is by turns hopeful and completely heart-wrenching. I have to admit that if I were to read that in a review it might keep me from reading it, but I will say that to me the book ultimately leans toward the hopeful. I am particularly glad I listened to the audiobook. The book is told in the voice of Adunni, and her dialect, and the frequent songs she makes up, are beautifully rendered on the audiobook by Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury for any Bridgerton fans out there). Adunni lives in a small rural village in Nigeria, and is grieving the loss of her beloved mother who instilled in her the optimism and passion for education that sustain her throughout the book. However, her father arranges for her to marry a much older man for her “bride price” in order to pay for the family’s housing, and Adunni becomes the youngest of three wives to an abusive man. Eventually she runs off to Lagos where she becomes trapped in servitude to a rich business woman and her predatory husband. Fortunately there is a library in the home, and Adunni finds a dictionary and a book of Nigerian facts, through which she learns, among other things, that child marriage is illegal in Nigeria (the book is set in 2014). The combination of poverty and sexism make things very bleak for girls like Adunni, and even in the upper classes the sexism is stark in the book. But there is kindness around her as well – at every stage she finds people who are willing to help her, and those relationships sustain her hope and determination to get out and to help other girls in similar situations. Adunni is a lovely character – funny and smart and kind, and her struggle to find her voice and get the education she deserves is a memorable one.

The Girl with the Louding Voice is available as both an ebook and an audiobook on Libby/Overdrive.

Title details for The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré - Wait list

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