Cover Image: The Girl with the Louding Voice

The Girl with the Louding Voice

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Member Reviews

This book was so unique and very enjoyable. It was one of those books that once you start reading it, you can’t put it down. I highly recommend this book!
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I’m going to go ahead and start my top 10 pile now and this one is going right on top! I did not want this book to end. 

Since this book has received stellar reviews all over, my review is going to consist of some quotes that stuck with me:

“My mama say education will give me a voice. I want more than just a voice, Ms. Tia. I want a louding voice,” I say. “I want to enter a room and people will hear me even before I open my mouth to be speaking. I want to love in this life and help many people so that when I grow old and die, I will still be living through the people I am helping.”

“Tomorrow will be better than today. I am a somebody of value.”

“That we are human. Of value. Important.”

“Because it is true, the future is always working, always busy unfolding better things, and even if it doesn’t seem so sometimes, we have hope of it.”

In closing, despite vastly different backgrounds, we all have “book friends” that have saved us in complicated times. 

Side Note: I really enjoyed when the facts about Nigeria started and that they coincided with the events of the chapter.
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The Girl with the Louding Voice is the unforgettable debut novel of Abi Dare.  Not long after fourteen-year-old Adunni loses her mother to illness, her father marries her off to an old man to become his third wife. But Adunni dreams about finding her “louding voice” and use it to better herself and her future.  She wants to go to school, become educated, and eventually teach.
This book provides stark social commentary on the women’s issues that persist in Nigeria today. The patriarchal Nigerian society continues to sanction child marriage, brutal ceremonies and abuse, domestic slavery and the lack of educational opportunities for girls.
Adunni is an inspirational character and this book is a must read. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
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Wonderful simply wonderful. I haven’t read something like this before so I was very happy to have enjoyed it as much as I did. I highly recommend.
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Nigeria is a large African country that suffers from poverty and oppression. Dare’s book deals with arranged marriage, domestic abuse, lack of education, class divide and female subjugation. One might think that this is a historical setting but the events portrayed are from 2014. These abuses are happening today and we should all be appalled. 

Adunni is fourteen when married off to an older man with multiple wives who abuses her. After a tragedy occurs, she runs away, but with no education, no money and no prospects, she is desperate and takes a job as a servant. The husband and wife she works for are both abusive so Adunni finds herself a victim once again. Her most fervent desire is to have a “louding voice,” a chance to get an education and speak up for what’s right and maybe teach other poor girls like herself someday. 

The audio book is superb. Listening to Adjoa Andoh’s narration transports readers to Nigeria and the oppressive world of Adunni. The characters spring off the page with the nuanced performance. Dare has created powerful verbal images of Adunni and those around her. The characters are distinctive and beautifully developed. This book enlightens us about the oppression people in Nigeria are subjected to as they struggle to survive. It highlights the critical imperative for education and the need to empower women in a society that undervalues them. Not only is this a book that many should read but one best listened to so the flavor of Nigeria can be savored.
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This was such a good book. Very unique. One of those that you can't help but get swept up in from page one. Cannot recommend it enough.
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When you feel a book in your soul even though you are so very different from the protagonist, it's a life-changing book. In the vein of "Wintergirls" and "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson, "The Assignment" by Liza Wiemer, "Remembrance" by Rita Woods, and "I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter" by Erica L. Sánchez, "The Girl With the Louding Voice" makes you think, makes you feel, lets you experience this world that you know nothing of. Adunni's experience with poverty, child marriage, rape, domestic slavery, learning in spite of it all, and escaping it to continue her education in Nigeria is something I haven't experienced, but I felt her pain, struggle, and fear on a visceral level. Abi Daré's book, written in Adunni's voice as she learns English, is so moving and so breathtakingly heartbreaking and inspiring. Adunni is the hard-working, ever-dreaming role model that young women, especially young Black women, need.
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What a fantastic, fabulous read! I had so much hope for the main character. She had so many injustices visited upon her simply because of her gender. I felt every heartbreaking moment in my heart. I wanted to cry for her and I felt every moment of happiness as if I was right there with her! So much happened to her in her short life so far. It would be wonderful to read a sequel and find out that her dreams came true! Fabulous author! I would definitely read anything she wrote.
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I couldn't put this down.  Great story about a country that I know little about.  Highlights lack of educational opportunities for women in NIgeria while sharing many details about culture and customs.   Great book to share with young adults when exploring human rights in various cultures.  You're left with a feeling of happiness at the outcome for the main character, who in many cases was just lucky in some of her encounters but als frustration at the fact that the culture really didn't change.
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Loved loved this book!  Everyone should read this one.  It is one of those books that stays with you well after you are finished! The characters are so real and you feel like you know them all
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The Girl with the Louding Voice is simply phenomenal and suitable for high school readers through grandparent-aged readers! If you’re looking for an eye-opening novel set in nearly present day but in a culture different from your own, look no further thM Abi Dare’s novel. You definitely won’t regret it!
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I absolutely loved this uplifting story and its brave, funny, strong intelligent main character, Adunni! Though so much of her story was heartaching, I loved how determined and hopeful she remained,, and how much strength she displayed as she persevered through every hardship she had to endure and always kept her mind on her goal of going back to school.  I really hope we get a follow up story about where Adunni’s life takes her from here!
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For all the darkness and violence that exists in this story, it’s the hope that shines thru. Author Dare is able to write without gratuitous descriptive violence, sexual content or foul language. There are brief violent scenes, they do not linger or assault while reading, thankfully.

A “Louding Voice” is what this book has. Presenting the contemporary issues plaguing Nigeria: female slavery, inequality, lack of education, etc.,
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I loved this title so much! I saw the recommendation for this book from another reviewer and decided to try it. Even during a busy season of life, I made the time to read this because it was such a page turner. I hoped there would be a little bit more to the ending, it hangs a little bit but over all I loved it.
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The Girl with the Louding Voice in a beautifully woven tale of a young girl born to a family in a small village near Lagos, Nigeria. The dialectical writing style brings the reader into the main character Adunni's innermost desires, thoughts, and emergent independence of self. 

We are introduced to Adunni, immediately following the death of her beloved mother, she is 14 years old and at a common age for girls to be sold into marriage agreements in her village. You immediately get the sense of family loyalty and her deep longing and love of her mother. The family is unable to afford rent and food, so rather than Adunni going to school to get a "louding voice" as her mother had encouraged and dreamed for her, Adunni's father sells her in a marriage to a man with 2 wives. Adunni's journey doesn't end there, she moves through heartbreak, hope, joy, and friendships; the reader cannot help but fall in love with Adunni.

I highly recommend this novel by Abi Adare, my only complaint is that the novel isn't longer!
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Fourteen-year-old Adunni is sold off to be a bride, then runs away from her husband to be a servant in harsh household environment.  Told in Adduni's broken English, she has her heart set on getting an education.  

Her story is heartbreaking, but her determination to learn keeps her going despite her current circumstances.  This is a story about survival, friendship, and perseverance.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by reading The Girl with the Louding Voice.
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From debut author Abi Daré comes THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE, a powerful novel told from the point of view of Adunni, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl who longs for an education so that she can have a real voice in her life. But with abusive men and corruption surrounding her at every turn, she will have to get loud in order to get what she wants.

When we meet Adunni, she is still grieving the loss of her mother, who died after contracting a terrible, bloody cough. Her mother was passionate about education and imbued Adunni with the same respect not only for intellect, but for the written word. Unfortunately for Adunni and her siblings, their mother was the glue holding the family together. Without her, their father has turned to alcohol to cope, depleting their already meager savings.

Papa tells Adunni that the family has no more money to pay their community rent, but that a kind man in town has offered to help --- in exchange for a bride. Adunni is horrified; not only did her father promise her mother never to marry her to a man in lieu of securing her education, but her husband-to-be, Morufu, already has two wives and a handful of children. What will Adunni’s life look like as the third wife to a man at least twice her age? As Adunni contemplates her future, she is even more shocked by the reactions of her peers. Rather than have sympathy for her, they are gleeful and even jealous that she has found a good, wealthy man to help care for her and her family.

When Adunni marries Morufu and meets his first and second wives, Labake and Khadija, she enters into a toxic, abusive household where she is forced to share Morufu’s bed three times a week and endure his “roughings” and clean and cook the rest of the time. All the while she must dodge the hateful attacks of Labake, who is jealous of her husband’s second and third wives. Her only solace is Khadija, who takes Adunni under her wing and acts as a sort of mother to her, even going so far as to help her find and prepare contraceptives to avoid becoming pregnant so young. Just as Adunni feels that she has found a sort of careful balance, Khadija suffers a miscarriage that will have dangerous and life-altering repercussions for Adunni. Fearing the worst of her village’s “jungle law” (which has seen many of her neighbors killed for even being suspected of a crime), Adunni flees.

Finding help through an old friend of her mother’s, Adunni travels to the prosperous and glittering town of Lagos, where she becomes a maid to a wealthy woman known as Big Madam. Though Big Madam is needlessly cruel at times, Adunni soon learns that it is her husband, Big Daddy, who she must avoid at all costs. Lecherous and manipulative, Big Daddy is known for his womanizing ways, and it comes as no surprise that he has no problem dipping his pen in the company ink, as it were. And then Adunni learns of Rebecca, Big Madam’s last housemaid who disappeared under mysterious conditions. More desperate than ever to find a way out, Adunni begins to take English lessons in secret, hoping to secure a scholarship that will help her find her “louding voice.”

THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE is an absolute triumph of a novel. With a setting as attractive as Lagos and a plotline that weaves together numerous prescient issues, this book could stand on its own as a terrific novel, but what truly sets it apart is Adunni’s unforgettable and extraordinarily moving voice. Adunni narrates her own story, and though her English is better than most in her village, she speaks in her own sort of dialect, explaining, “I will go to school. I will finish my primary and secondary and university schooling and become teacher because I don’t just want to be having any kind voice…. I want a louding voice.”

Prose like this could easily be distracting, but Daré writes with such beautiful cadence and lyricism that readers will quickly get swept up in Adunni and her story. Though her grasp of English is not perfect, she is deeply intuitive and asks pertinent, wise questions, including ones about race, motherhood and privilege --- without even realizing the depth of her queries. More than just sweeping and poignant, Adunni’s voice is magnetic. When she is speaking, detailing the joys and horrors of her life, you feel as though you are listening to a friend. Adunni is kind, smart and uniquely herself --- even when it is dangerous to be a 14-year-old daughter, wife or housemaid.

Adunni’s focus on her predecessor, Rebecca, also highlights a sense of activism and duty that makes Adunni feel very present. Though she has nothing to gain by investigating Rebecca’s disappearance, she is conscious of the fact that while she has a “louding” voice and is not afraid to use it, there are plenty of girls who have lived through situations like hers --- and worse --- who were not granted the same opportunities to develop and use their voices. Daré infuses her protagonist with such a clear and vivid sense of what is right that she becomes a hero in her own right, speaking out for all the girls who came before her and those who will come after.

Bold, surprising and absolutely unforgettable, THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE is a tremendous debut with a voice that yells far beyond its pages for Adunni, her supporting characters, and all the girls and women who will have the honor of reading it.
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5 stars. *

5 gut-wrenching, devastated, tell-me-more stars.

The Girl with the Louding Voice tells the story of Adunni, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl whose father "sells" her to be the third wife of the taximan in her village.  The story takes place in modern day, and if it does not give you pause and take your breath,...well...I don't even know.  It is written in broken English, but is entirely understandable.  As Adunni's circumstances and education change, so does the writing.

Adunni's mother promised her that she would get an education, but when she dies her father cannot keep that promise and in an effort to keep his home and put food on the table for his two sons, he sells her into a marriage contract.  She is naive, and forced to grow up quickly to face her circumstances in the household with the two elder wives.  When one of the other wives befalls a tragic end, Adunni takes the opportunity to flee, becoming a servant in the home of a wealthy Nigerian businesswoman in Lagos.   While the location has changed, Adunni has traded the abuse of her husband and fellow wives for the abuse of her employer.  A a party for the local ladies club, Adunni meets a kind neighbor woman of her employer who will change her life.

I cannot say enough about this story.  It will stay with me.

*with thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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The Girl with the Louding Voice is amazing and powerful. Adunni is 14-years-old and has limited life opportunities because she is forced into marriage at such a tender age. She suffers sexual and physical abuse by the adult who married a child and this is culturally condoned. Adunni is strong, resilient and courageous and this book is an eye-opening glimpse into the patriarchal society of Nigeria. What's most frightening, however, is that this is set in modern day Nigeria - not in the distant past. This is a beautifully written, bold and absolutely brilliant read.
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This book got a ton of buzz and for good reason. It's a heartwrenching story of a young girl's dogged pursuit of an education. Written in pidgin English, Daré immerses the reader in a culture that is so unusual for many Western readers and yet she does it deftly and brilliantly. At the heart of the book is young Adunni, who is a captivating heroine of her own life. Absolutely recommend.
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