The BookBrowse Review

Published January 22, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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The BookBrowse Review

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Book Jacket

The Girl with the Louding Voice
by Abi Daré
4 Feb 2020
384 pages
Publisher: Dutton
ISBN-13: 9781524746025
Genre: Novels
Critics:
Readers:
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A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to get an education so that she can escape and choose her own future.

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a "louding voice"—the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni's father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir.

When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing.

But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can—in a whisper, in song, in broken English—until she is heard.

"Captivating…Daré's arresting prose provides a window into the lives of Nigerians of all socioeconomic levels and shows readers the beauty and humor that may be found even in the midst of harrowing experiences." - Booklist

"Daré provides a valuable reminder of all the young women around the world who are struggling to be heard and how important it is that we listen to them. A moving story of what it means to fight for the right to live the life you choose." - Kirkus Reviews

"A powerful debut about fighting for our dreams." - PopSugar

"The Girl With the Louding Voice is a character for the ages. Adunni is a girl who narrates her own suffering with levity, who paints depth and texture and beauty into her Nigerian homeland, who tenderly cultivates her own humanity even while everything around her seeks to thwart it. She is an ambassador for girls everywhere. She is important, funny, brave, and enduring. Abi Daré has written an unforgettable novel, by the strength of her own louding voice." - Jeanine Cummins, author of American Dirt

"A bold new storyteller…Abi Daré's fearless debut is a celebration of girls who dare to dream and those who help unfurl their wings so that they might soar." - Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers (Oprah's Book Club pick)

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by LANI
Female empowerment
May this 14 year old Nigerian girl never leave the imprint of her struggle, her humanity and her bravery from my brain. As she narrates how her world widens from her poor home in her village to the city of riches in Lagos, one watches the unfolding of the chrysalis becoming a butterfly. She dreams of becoming a teacher but her dreams were decimated when her mother died and her father married her to an older man in order to have money to support himself and his other two boys. As she continues to struggle through life, I was torn at my very being by her goodness, forbearance and compassion even when she was subjected to many abuses of the spirit and the body. Written in a broken English style, it was easy to immerse into this pattern and made the book feel more authentic. Not only was it a story of strength and empowerment, but the author made you feel you found the pulse that composes Nigeria. Seriously, I cannot recommend this book more highly.

Abi Daré grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and has lived in the UK for eighteen years. She studied law at the University of Wolverhampton and has an MSc in International Project Management from Glasgow Caledonian University as well as an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Girl with the Louding Voice won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was also selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition. Abi lives in Essex with her husband and two daughters, who inspired her to write her debut novel.

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