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The Girl with the Louding Voice

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,350 ratings  ·  305 reviews
A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future.

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a “louding voice”—the ability to speak
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Dutton Books
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April Mcdowell I think so. There are rapes by a husband and an attempted rape by an employer, but neither are graphic at all. I think many teenagers would really…moreI think so. There are rapes by a husband and an attempted rape by an employer, but neither are graphic at all. I think many teenagers would really enjoy this book. (less)

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Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare


I loved this book so much I could not stop talking about this and recommending this book! I haven’t read a book like this since forever and what a powerful and emotional read this was for me.

What an amazing debut novel by Abi Dare whose writing transported me to Adunni’s life, struggles, misfortunes and triumph as well. I loved reading the book in its colloquial voice of Adunni, a fourteen year old Nigerian girl, who was
5 stars!!

This is immediately going on my best of 2020 list. There is so much to hold on to and talk about with this very special book. I found myself bereft of all hope as I read about Adunni's life, yet she continually amazed me. It opens with Adunni learning she will soon be married to a man older than her father, where she will become the third wife in her new home. To think that this practice still exists today all over the world! All Adunni wanted was to go to school and earn an education.
Today is publication day for this book. Congratulations, Abi Dare!

This novel won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018. In this interview Abi Dare shares a little about the story and her writing process:

4.5 stars

When we think of a coming-of-age story, we usually imagine a sweet, gradual awakening from adolescence into adulthood. There are bumps and bruises and broken hearts along the way, but it's all just part of growing up. Adunni is
Elena L.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
[4,5/5 stars]

THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE centers around the life of Adunni - a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who doesn't want to follow the destiny of all the Nigerian girls and desires to choose her own future.

The first chapter already had me infuriated! I found myself helpless in front of the cultural imposition - Abi Dare does a fantastic job tackling issues of sexism, marriage, parenting, futility, negativity of a patriarchal society and women's inequality. Having read a great amount
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beautiful debut novel!

Once again I judged a book by its cover and once again, doing so did not disappoint. The main character, our narrator, is every bit as bold and brilliant as the colours on this cover, leaping out from the page as soon as she starts to speak and tell her story.

One of the criteria of a good writer is the ability to make us feel for their characters. Be it positive or negative, we become emotionally involved in their lives. Almost from the beginning of The Girl with the
4.5 stars
"I want more than just a voice, I want a louding voice. I want to enter a room and people will hear me even before I open my mouth to be speaking."

I first came across this book in an article written in Daily Kos challenging readers to read 52 books by women of color over the course of the year. I fell in love with the cover. I fell in love with the description. Once I started reading I fell in love with Adunni and her spirit.

The Girl With the Louding Voice is a coming of age story
Basic B's Guide
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Binge-worthy literary fiction. Say what?! Let me introduce you to THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE (available today!).

Adunni, is just 14 when her mother passes away and her father sells her as a 3rd wife to a much older man. Not long after being married, tragedy strikes and she is sold as a servant to a very wealthy household in Lagos. Adunni must fight against all the odds to have a voice and not just a voice but a LOUDING VOICE. “Not his-story,” I say. “My own will be called her-story. Adunni’s
Kayla Garcia
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It may be bold to say, but this is the best book I’ve ever read. This is a masterfully-crafted combination of flawless literary fiction and astounding cultural statistics.

I want more than just a voice, I want a louding voice. I want to enter a room and people will hear me even before I open my mouth to be speaking. I want to live in this life and help many people so that when I grow old and die, I will still be living through the people I am helping.

I’ve said this before, and I firmly believe it
Laura • lauralovestoread
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, dutton-books
So I’m speechless after reading The Girl With The Louding Voice over the weekend. This was one of those books that I could have easily binge read in one sitting, but I wanted to soak in the story of Adunni.

After a few 5 star reviews started flooding my feed, I was excited to read this debut novel, but I had no idea that I would immerse myself so fully into the story.

I was so drawn to Adunni’s powerful spirit, despite the fact that she is sold into a marriage at the age of 14, living in a village
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
I await this novel's deserving film adaptation.

As I read this tale, I experienced several emotions. To name a few, hope, heartbreak, fear, and joy. Some may ask how could I possibly feel these things toward a story that's challenging to the senses and soul. Easy. I listened. One must listen to Adunni to appreciate the full scoop of her story.

The story's unnerving, but it's well worth a read. Take your time with this one. It deserves to have every word savored.

1) The plot is simple. A young
Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads)
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads) by: Basic B's Guide
Thank you to Dutton Books for my review copy.

Adunni, you have my heart girl. I have so many thoughts. So, so many. I don't really want to speak on them all....I want you to read this book blind. I'm going to say just a few things.
1. The characters written here are the most memorable of characters. Exceptional.
2. The actual location was a learning experience for me.
3. The fact that I was surprised how much hope I would walk away with.

That's all I'm going to say. Read this book. Let your daughter
Mikaela (Booklover1974)
2,5 stars

I realize I'm in minority here but I just couldn't give the book more stars.

It took a while to get use to the language, it's written in rather bad English (the way Adunni talks) but after a while it was OK. Adunni is the fourteen year old girl who wants a louding voice, she wants it's so loud that the whole Nigeria can hear her. All she dreams of is to be a teacher and have a classroom full of children that listens to her. Too bad her father has other plans for her, like marrying her
Carol (Reading Ladies)
5+ Stars! Review first published on

“Tomorrow will be better than today. I have value and I’m important.”

Life for a woman is not easy in Nigeria. Adunni’s mom plants the thought of having a “voice” in her spirit. Fourteen-year-old Adunni is determined to fight for her voice to be heard and for her future despite being sold as a third wife. Even when she runs away, she finds herself in another powerless position of servitude. Adunni is introduced to a more modern woman who
Kaytee Cobb
Incredible. Persistence, resilience. Adunni is amazing. And everyone needs a Ms. Tia in her life.
Renee (some kind of a library)
Thank you to the publisher for my free copy.

"...I don't just want to be having any kind voice...I want a louding voice."

Theres something about reading a book with a main character that digs deep and doesn't let go- that feeing hangs on. I'd like you to meet Adunni, a 14 year old girl from Nigeria who experiences deep sorrow and pain and hope and empathy while on her journey to finding her "louding voice". When I closed this book I was without any words to describe my experience of reading-
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. The unique style for which it was written and the powerful impact it left made this an easy 5 stars for me. The author does an impeccable job at inviting you into Adunni’s life and making you feel the landscape of Nigeria throughout the entire story. Sprinkled with facts about Nigeria and full of emotion, this story is one that I will think about long after the book is closed. If this is not yet on your lists, do yourself a favor and add it asap. This is captivating story ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
via my blog:
"But I don’t want to born anything now. How will a girl like me born childrens? Why I fill up the world with sad childrens that are not having a chance to go to school? Why make the world to be one big, sad, silent place because all the childrens not having a voice?"

Adunni’s mother once told her that an education is the only way for a Nigerian girl to have a ‘louding voice’. Without an education, a woman cannot speak up for herself, will never be
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-literature
Incredible. I was drawn by the cover initially and intrigued by the description as I enjoy literature focused outside the US and UK but don't read nearly enough of it. I was lucky enough to snag an ARC from NetGalley.

This was unique for me in a couple ways--first that while most African set fiction I read is Nigerian or South African, this was the first that wasn't completely based in Lagos or other cities-- we got to Lagos eventually but experience a good portion of small village life first.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this, but I wasn't blown away. The author creates very vivid characters and used the foreign vernacular successfully enough that it planted me right into the setting. Although that vernacular was awkward to read at first, and I did wonder whether I could read an entire book of it, there was a rhythm I was able to pick up on. I think the author has a very strong message that wasn't necessarily successfully communicated through what was written. While I did get an understanding of the ...more
Ana (inquisitivebookworm)
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-releases
Thanks to Dutton Books and NetGalley for the free review copy!

What an absolutely beautiful and heart-wrenching novel! Told through the voice of Adunni, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl, this story follows her journey as she fights to obtain an education for herself, all while being sold into marriage by her own father and attempting to escape a life of servitude.

The author's choice to depict this story through Adunni's exact language, grammar, and syntax is---in my opinion---what makes this novel so
Cheryl M-M
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Education equals louding voice, which in turn will enable Adunni to make decisions and speak for herself. It's what her mother always told her, but her mother is dead and Adunni has taken her place in the family. With a family to feed and rent to pay Adunni becomes the only commodity her father has, so he sells her to a local man. A third wife to be, her dreams wither and die.

Things come to a head and fourteen-year-old Adunni runs away and ends up in the hands of a scrupulous criminal who sells
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
No Spoilers!

A beautifully written debut novel that grabbed onto my heartstrings and never let go! Dare’ efficiently carries the reader through many significant events in a deep and powerful way. It was a joy to join Adunni on her life journey through an array of emotions and choices. I imagine I’ll carry Adunni’s hope and determination with me as as she imprints upon my life journey both consciously and unconsciously. Thank you for sharing Adunni with the world Abi Dare’.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I still need to digest all that I read. Every woman should read this.
Casey the Reader
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Thanks to Dutton Books for the free copy of this book.

Fourteen year old Adunni lives in rural Nigeria. After her mother's unexpected death, her family runs out of money and Adunni's father sells her off to a marriage with an older man whose two existing wives have not given him sons. Adunni's mother always told her an education was the way out of a life of poverty and subservience, and she is determined to find her voice.

THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE is a coming-of-age story of a girl who
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
Abi Daré is a new, important voice bringing attention to the issues still plaguing young people in Nigeria who are essentially being sold into a slave trade, working for free for the rich in Lagos. The story takes place in 2014-2015 during the most turbulent change of Adunni's life following her abrupt marriage to a much older man who already had two wives and was desperate to have a son, the sudden illness of the pregnant second wife, and Adunni's running away from the village to a family ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin? I will start by saying this book will hands down be the absolutely BEST book I will read in this decade!

The title drew me in and every word after continued to fill my heart with so many feelings. Feelings of love, frustration, hate, fear, compassion, joy and hope.

This is the story of Adunni, whose name means sweetness, she is the girl with the louding voice. She was born into a life she did not choose, but a life that she makes the best of. She never stops loving Nigeria her
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing

In the beginning, I had a slightly difficult time adjusting to the broken English vernacular. I had to reread some sentences and paragraphs and it was slow going for a very short time. However, I did get used to it. Adunni is a strong, resilient character and her voice comes through so clearly. You feel like you really are inside her mind as she struggles, feels joy, is exploited and devalued all while persevering for an education that is hard won. What impressed me the most about this
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
May this 14 year old Nigerian girl never leave the imprint of her struggle, her humanity and her bravery from my brain. As she narrates how her world widens from her poor home in her village to the city of riches in Lagos, one watches the unfolding of the chrysalis becoming a butterfly. She dreams of becoming a teacher but her dreams were decimated when her mother died and her father married her to an older man in order to have money to support himself and his other two boys. As she continues to ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing

That is this book about?
Adunni, age 14, a poor girl living in Nigeria just wants to find her place in this world. She wants to go to school and become a teacher but when her mother dies she is forced to make some sacrifices. Adunni refuses to give up on her dreams and will fight to keep them alive.

What did I think?
Wow! Wow! Wow! This will easily be on my top 10 for 2020. The book is so beautifully written, the storyline, the plot, the characters. Love Love Love! I truly enjoyed following Adunni
MCZ Reads
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: botm-selections
This was my February Book of the Month pick. I’m very happy with my choice. However, I can’t tell if this book is targeted to an adult audience or YA readers (though there’s no reason it can’t be both). The constant threat of violence and the the social commentary seems geared more toward adult readers, but the protagonist is 14 and sometimes her feminist declarations come across as heavy-handed.

Still, the writing in this book is gorgeous. I appreciate the author’s writing skill displayed her.
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