“The Girl with the Louding Voice” follows Adunni, a 14-year-old girl living in poverty outside Lagos, Nigeria. Her hopes of an education are dashed when her father arranges her marriage for a bride-price that can cover the rent.

Adunni soon must navigate a life as the third wife in a home where she is preyed upon, and another home where she works as a “house-maid” / enslaved youth.

It’s heavy, and levity and light come in Adunni’s relationships — with maternal and healing second wife Khadija; pragmatic and caring cook Kofi; and Tia, a well-educated outsider, new to Nigeria and struggling with the harsher realities of the move.

Adunni moves through the jungle justice, the gender discrimination and the extreme poverty — determined to fight for her education, her ability to speak and be heard.

For her louding voice.

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And, it’s this perseverance and unbroken spirit that rises to the top here.

Told wholly through Adunni’s broken English, this book puts you squarely into her youthful and naive perspective — a narrative choice that extends the heartbreak of her injustices and elevates the joy of her simple pleasures.

Author Abi Daré’s debut is based on her observations growing up in Lagos; she was inspired by a conversation with her own daughter.

“The Girl with the Louding Voice” is a work of art, a tearful battle cry that’s worth diving into.

Title: “The Girl with the Louding Voice”

Author: Abi Daré

Publisher: Dutton

Pages: 379

Melinda Lavine is a features reporter for the News Tribune. Write to her at mlavine@duluthnews.com.
Melinda Lavine is a features reporter for the News Tribune. Write to her at mlavine@duluthnews.com.