At fourteen, Adunni dreams of getting an education and giving her family a more comfortable home in her small Nigerian village. Instead, Adunni’s father sells her off to become the third wife of an old man. When tragedy strikes in her new home, Adunni flees to the wealthy enclaves of Lagos, where she becomes a house-girl to the cruel Big Madam, and prey to Big Madam’s husband. But despite her situation continuously going from bad to worse, Adunni refuses to let herself be silenced. And one day, someone hears her.
I have heard so much about The Girl With The Louding Voice in the last year and it deserves all the praise it receives. It is not a book to which I would usually be drawn but I am so glad I read it.
The Girl With The Louding Voice is narrated by the central character, Adunni. The novel is written as if Adunni is speaking to the reader (in her accent and unstandardised grammar). It did take me a while to get my head around this, but it really helps to create her character. She is absolutely adorable. She is kind, funny and determined and I loved following her story. I really hoped she would succeed in her aim to have a “louding voice.”
Adunni is not the only character who jumps off the page. They all have several layers and add to a colourful storyline. They all got under my skin and helped me to feel all the emotions as I was reading.
Each chapter starts with a fact about Nigeria and I found these very interesting. Throughout the novel I learnt more about the Nigerian culture and way of life and this gave me even more empathy for some of the characters and their situations.
Through The Girl With The Louding Voice, Daré explores a number of themes which are often heartbreaking and thought provoking. I am astonished that she can do this so well in a debut novel and I look forward to what she does next.
The Girl With The Louding Voice is available from Amazon.