Once again, the volunteers of Barrow Community Library have picked a book (and audio book) which they recommend as a good read. This issue it’s ‘The Girl with the Louding Voice’: an uplifiting, if at times, bleakly realistic novel.
Title: The Girl With the Louding Voice
Author: Abi Dare (Narrated by Adjoa Andoh on the Audible version)
Number of pages: 289
Number of hours on Audible: 12 hours and 6 mins
The story is told by the main character, Adunni. She’s a 14 year old Nigerian girl living in a small village. As the story unfolds, she overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds in her determination to find her “louding voice”, which her recently departed mother has assured her would be her way out of dire poverty. Adunni believes that education is the absolute key and yet, her worthless father sells her into a marriage to a cruel older man with two other wives. Her escape from this leads her to be sold yet again, this time as a housemaid, into the household of Big Mamma and her abusive husband who both treat Adunni monstrously. Adunni is then befriended by Tia, a westernised Nigerian business woman who is instrumental in helping Adunni achieve her goal.
Don’t be put off this book by its bleak description. It is uplifting for many reasons.
The story is told in a colloquial voice which is hard at first but very quickly gives the reader a really personal and intimate relationship with Adunni. You cannot fail to become totally entangled in Adunni’s struggle and to admire her sheer determination to change the prospects for so many Nigerian girls. She questions everything: rights, wrongs and injustices. She never gives up.
The book is a comprehensive account of the position of young Nigerian women and provides the strongest argument as to why education for girls in the world should be one of the highest priorities.