Book Review: The Girl With A Louding Voice – Abi Dare

It’s my second time reading the book ‘The girl with a louding voice’ and I still managed to tear although this time, mostly tears of Joy at the triumphs of the protagonist, I am still impressed by how good and captivating Abi Dare is in writing this book.

In her debut book, Abi Dare describes the life of Adunni a 14-year-old girl from Nigeria who is married off as a third wife to a rich man, to sire him a son, by her father after the sad death of her mother.

In a first-person narration, Adduni tells us about her struggle to be heard ever since she was young in a society that believes a woman must be seen and not heard, patriarchy much?

We journey with her through her childhood; the struggle to gain an education which makes her the eldest girl in her class, she teaches poor children in her small village and aspires to be a teacher, she gets married at a young age to a man who has a daughter who is her agemate, she gets ‘raped’ by her husband and hated by her husband’s first wife; Adduni also tells of her friendship and later death of her husband’s second wife, a misfortune which leads to her running away, moving to Lagos and becoming a servant at Big Madam’s house.

I went through this book with my fingers crossed, clapping at the good moments in Adunni’s life where she relentlessly strives and wins not allowing anyone to put her down and how she uses her “LOU-DING VOICE” to help her achieve her dreams; from her naive bonding with anyone she encounters to how her kindness and patience, through friends, helped her get a scholarship which made me hope she becomes the teacher she always dreamed of.

Abi Dare’s writing is compelling and has you associating with the characters, crying and feeling all their emotions. It deeply tackles the themes of early marriage, patriarchy, politics, corruption, education and slavery while still remaining humorous and touching.

I particularly loved the little facts about Nigeria on every page that tied in well with the protagonist’s story and although I know the use of Nigerian Pidgin was to make us connect with the story, I felt it took more than it gave, but maybe that was the unique side of this story.

I would rate this story 7/10, giving props for managing to put all the ideas in 312 pages. It’s a definite read if you enjoy inspirational stories about overcoming the odds in life.


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