The Girl with the Louding Voice

By Abi Daré,

Book cover of The Girl with the Louding Voice

Book description

The most uplifting debut of 2020

'Unforgettable' New York Times 'Impressive' Observer 'Remarkable' Independent 'Important' Guardian 'Captivating' Mirror 'Luminous' Daily Mail 'Sparkling' Harper's Bazaar 'Beautiful' Herald


I don't just want to be…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Girl with the Louding Voice as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I found this modern story empowering. In fact, I did not want this gut-wrenching, gripping story to end. The story is set in Nigeria in 2014, a pre-election year, the year in which Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls. It is related in pidgin English by a naïve 14-year-old girl Adunni, who lives in a village in Nigeria. After Adunni’s mother dies, her father pulls Adunni out of school and marries her off to an old man using the bride price to pay the family’s rent. Later, Adunni is tricked into becoming a housemaid to a rich, abusive lady, Big Madam.…

This novel taught me more about Nigeria than I could ever have learned from reading scholarly histories. Adunni is the narrator of her own story, and her voice has the rhythms, textures, and energy of a child bursting to express herself – to locate and validate herself – in a life where she struggles for agency. Daré gives us the political, economic, and cultural context of modern Nigeria whose forces work mostly against Adunni, but it’s never didactic. Adunni is compelling, admirable, and adorable, but while you sense she will ultimately break her bonds, she evokes thousands of Nigerian girls…

The Girl With the Louding Voice is a triumphant novel, written with the compelling voice of a young Nigerian girl named Adunni. As she says, "I am not a wasted waste. I am Adunni. A person important enough because my tomorrow will be better than today."

Surviving what is often a violent and cruel life, I find myself cheering at the beauty of Adunni’s spirit.

From Patty's list on first-person perspectives.

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