Originally published: 5 March 2020 (Paperback 1 October 2020)
Author: Abi Daré
Published by: Sceptre Books
Genre: African Fiction
Length: 314 pages
Reading dates: 7-11 October 2020
Inside every girl is a louding voice.
A voice to speak up for herself, for the girls who came before her and for all those who will follow.
Fourteen-year-old Adunni is the third wife of a middle aged taxi driver in a small Nigerian village, having had her marriage arranged by her father for his financial gain after her mothers death. She is regularly raped by her new husband and beaten by his first wife. As a wife, she is expected to fade into silence.
But being silent isn’t in Adunni’s nature. She is smart, funny and curious and despite the awful things that happen to her, she still has an infectiously joyful spirit. With adversity at every turn, Adunni is still set on getting an education whatever the cost.
What a wonderful book this was! Adunni is such a wonderful character. When is she forced to escape her marriage, she ends up in the city of Lagos, working as a housemaid for a woman who regularly beats her and her lecherous husband. But Adunni’s positive attitude means she makes friend’s wherever she goes and soon attracts the attention of a friend of her boss who agrees to help her continue her education in the hope she can escape service to go back to school.
The way Adunni speaks to us through this novel is her own version of English and her observations are both funny and charming. It is interesting that as her education progresses as the book goes on, that her English begins to get better.
Once Adunni arrives in Lagos and has access to the household library, the chapters begin with facts from a fictional book of Nigerian facts which show the huge gulf between the rich and the poor in Nigeria. It is an important story that looks at how women are treated as second class citizens, the arranged marriages of underage girls and the stories of those who are forced into domestic slavery.
“Why are the women in Nigeria seem to be suffering for everything more than the men?”
The Girl With The Louding Voice is such a wonderful book, both shocking and uplifting and I urge you to read it.
Thank you so much to Tandem Collective for inviting me to be part of the Instagram readalong and to Sceptre Books for a copy of the book.
About the author:
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 M.Sc. 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 2018 The Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition. Abi lives in Essex with her husband and two daughters, who inspired her to write her debut novel.