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The Girl With the Louding Voice Review

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

The Girl with the Louding Voice
The Girl With the Louding Voice

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Adunni, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl, is forced into marriage, but after a tragedy she runs away and is given to a rich woman as a servant. All Adunni wants is an education, and through everything the world throws at her, she powers through and refuses to give up on her dream.


Contemporary, African literature


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.


The enticing cover doesn’t lie. This story is a wonderful debut. Adunni is one of those rare narrators that truly stands out to me. Her voice is strong, raw, and distinct. Her words sweep you into her thoughts and show her intelligence and ambition. I connected to her in a way I don’t often do with 1st person narrators, so whatever technique the author is using, she’s got it perfect.

This book takes place in Nigeria, written by an author from Nigeria. As such, you get a true, nuanced perspective on the country. Away with colonialist portrayals of the country - this is an honest look at the place in all its ugliness and beauty.

Inequality is high, and the world is set against Adunni, so her victories are that much more satisfying. The complete disregard the rich women hold for her is chilling but realistic. Economic inequality plagues society, and the novel captures the ugliness of rigid social classes in perfect detail.

Mystery, heartache, humor, a rich cast of characters, and a powerful narrator make this book truly special. I am thrilled I chose this as a Book of the Month, and I cannot wait to see what the author publishes next.

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