Synopsis: This book is the inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself. Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself and help other girls like her do the same.
Abi Daré’s debut, The Girl with the Louding Voice, is a wonderfully intricate novel about having courage, strength and hope even in the darkest of times. It’s an issue-led story that’s extremely important to share, proving to be an educational and thought-provoking piece of literature that everybody should read.
The novel follows Adunni, a 14-year-old girl living in a small Nigerian village who wants nothing more than to receive an education. However, Adunni is pulled out of school and forced into a marriage with a much older man who already has two wives. Abi Daré then takes the reader on an exquisite journey with Adunni as she runs away from home. The book manages to be both extremely traumatic and very inspiring at the same time, which is an incredible achievement for the author.
Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and found it revolutionary in many ways. Adunni makes a great protagonist and is an extremely memorable character, something that I believe will help this novel to stand the test of time. Her actions are always inspiring and completely authentic, never deviating away from her core goal of securing an education.
Abi Daré is triumphant in creating layered and complex female characters. I really enjoyed the unveiling of Big Madam’s character towards the end of the novel and it was great to delve into her past in greater detail, learning how she came to be the guarded and harsh person she was. I also found that most of the exchanges between characters were very believable and the complexities within individual relationships were portrayed remarkably well.
The novel is written in first person and broken English, a great move from the author to allow the reader to truly embark on the journey with Adunni. I’ll admit I struggled a little with the prose being in broken English, especially in the beginning and found myself having to re-read sections of the book. Once I’d gotten used to the writing style, I enjoyed how this was used as a tactic to create humorous imagery and add light-hearted sections to the book. However, if I’m totally honest, I did find it quite distracting throughout.
Ultimately, Adunni is a complete inspiration to so many young women and reading The Girl with the Louding Voice was a pleasure from start to finish, especially being able to follow Adunni’s journey as she fights for the right to go to school and receive an education. Highlighting this issue in such an effective way is a bold and imperative move, and I look forward to seeing what the author writes next.
Goodreads Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️