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The Girl with the Louding Voice

The Girl with the Louding Voice

A Novel

eBook - 2020
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“Brave, fresh . . . unforgettable.”The New York Times Book Review

“A celebration of girls who dare to dream.”—Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers (Oprah’s Book Club pick)
Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and recommended by The New York TimesMarie ClaireVogueEssence, PopSugar, Daily Mail, Electric LiteratureRed, Stylist, Daily Kos, Library Journal, The Everygirl, and Read It Forward!
The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams.  Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself – and help other girls like her do the same.  Her spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances imaginable will “break your heart and then put it back together again” (Jenna Bush Hager on The Today Show) even as Adunni shows us how one courageous young girl can inspire us all to reach for our dreams…and maybe even change the world.
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group


From the critics

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Mar 15, 2021

Absolutely one of the best books I have read. Abi Dare tells an amazing story of survival, hope, and the power of kindness that can be found in someone, even in the darkest of time. The Girl with the Louding voice tells the story of Audunni a young girl from a Nigerian village. Audunni dreams of going to school and becoming a teacher, but is married off to a much older man by her father, interrupting the dreams she has for herself. Audunni faces many new challenges as the third wife to her new husband, but the friendship and kindness she receives from Khadija the middle wife fills her days with hope. Then something terrible happens and Audunni is forced to leave and is sent to be a house maid to Big Madam. Audunni then is physically abused while also trying to avoid Big Madam's husband Big Daddy. Throughout all of the beatings Audunni never gives up her dream of school and getting her louding voice and helping other girls in her situation. Audunni meets Ms Tia. A woman who helps through her friendship and her never ending care and love for Audinni.
Abi Dare captivates the reader. I often found myself asking "what time frame does this story take place", only to be shocked that it is currently happening. Through all of the book, the theme of hope, friendship, survival, and looking for the light in others is evident. This book will break your heart and then piece it all back together again.

LCPL_Vivian Feb 08, 2021

The Girl with the Louding Voice follows Adunni, a fourteen-year old who is forced to marry a man after her mother dies. She manages to escape so she can get one step closer to reaching her goal of going to school. I enjoyed Adunni as a character, and how tough she was for a teenager, but the story hits a standstill toward the middle of the book. The side characters also seem very underdeveloped. It's a well-loved, important, and difficult story to read, so if you're at all interested, then I recommend you give it a go.

STPL_JessH Jan 16, 2021

I love this book! I love the characters, I love the story, and mostly, I love the way the story is told. I think Adunni would have said "I am loving the way the story is telling!" Instead of boxing Adunni into an English that would not reflect her experience, Daré lets her characters speak without "corrections" or interruptions. For me, this made the characters and their experiences just so real. It was almost as though I were reading a film, if that makes sense? Because Adunni's voice is so active, and the descriptions so concrete, I felt as though I was in the room with her as events unfolded. I admire the imagery in this book so much. I cannot wait to see what Daré writes next!
Highly recommend!!

Aug 18, 2020

This was a great read! I read this book in 3 days and was so upset when it ended. As it is the authors debut book, I hope she writes more as this was a wonderful history lesson to see that not all little girls have a chance to escape their cultural rites but Adunni endures and gets a chance to pursue her louding voice.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jun 09, 2020

I loved this tale of a young Nigerian girl's search for an education and a bigger life than what was afforded her in her village. While not quite so gritty, it landed with me a little bit like "Push" by Sapphire. I am curious how it has been received in Nigeria, since it feels like it may lean heavily on stereotypes specific to Nigerian culture. Adunni's voice is lovely and I left wanting to know how her story evolves.

Apr 16, 2020

It took me a minute to get used to the broken English used by Adunni, however, once I did I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed this story and looked forward to picking up the book every evening- some portions felt rushed but it did not take away from this story of triumph. I also appreciated how the English in the book evolved with Adunni's understanding of the language.
Would recommend!

Feb 12, 2020

NYT Feb 2020 pick. Escaping a fixed marriage in Nigeria. Left off p. 152 in Lagos.

Feb 08, 2020

I’ve read a lot of books set in Nigeria, but this one is closest to my heart. When Adunni, a fourteen year old is forced into a marriage and then flees, she ends up basically a slave in the home of a wealthy Lagos woman. What Adunni wants moe than anything else is an education so she can become a teacher. She wants to make a difference—in her words she wants a louding voice. How she accomplishes her goals really isn’t that much different than that of Westover in EDUCATED. Adunni meets caring people along the way who are willing to push her into becoming the person she wants to be. Of course, its not just those people. Its Adunni’s inner strength that propels her forward.


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