Rating: 5 / 5
THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE by Abi Daré was a spur of the moment pick when I needed an audiobook to pick up before the end of the month. Since I also picked it as my BOTM pick this month, I was happy to get a chance to read it both on audio and in print. It seemed like a great final pick for Black History Month as well.
THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE follows Adunni, a 14-year old Nigerian woman. She wants nothing more than to get an education and to get the “louding voice” that her mother told her would give her more freedom as a woman, allowing her to make her own choices, get a job and support herself.
Unfortunately, her mother died young leaving only Adunni’s father in charge and a large bride price has convinced him to marry Adunni off as the third wife to an elderly man who thinks Adunni will be the one to give him the son he wants. Adunni finds herself in a desperate situation and flees to the city. Though she is hoping to find a better life, she again finds herself in a position of servitude to a wealthy family. Still, she presses on, ever searching for ways to make her voice known.
I loved this book and I loved Adunni! This was not always an easy read. Initially it did take me a couple chapters to get into the flow of the narrative. The book is written in Adunni’s voice and she has not been fully taught the English language. Much as with the title, words are slightly out of place or in the wrong tense. I was worried for a bit that I wouldn’t enjoy the way this was written, especially in the audio, but after the first two chapters I really caught on and the language no longer took me out of the story.
This is also a hard read due to the content. Adunni is married off at fourteen without a voice. She doesn’t have the ability to turn her husband down and he is determined to impregnate her right away. Adunni also suffers abuse from her husband’s first wife and later from the family she works for. The sexual and physical abuse is not gratuitous, but it isn’t easy to read.
In spite of some of the darkness, Adunni is a wonderful character to follow. Her desire to learn and share her knowledge from others is amazing as is her perseverance even under the horrific circumstances she’s under. She is a character that I loved to root for! I absolutely recommend this book so you can enjoy Adunni’s story as well!
#NerdReading2020 – author starting with A