Title: The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
Book Beginnings Quote:
Friday56 Quote (page 25): "In
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. (From the publisher)
Review: I loved, loved, loved this story of both heartbreak and triumph. Adunni wants more than anything to go to school so she can not only change the circumstances for herself but for other girls in her village who are all destined to marry young, sometimes as second or third wives, and forgo any dreams that they have for themselves. In a culture that does not think of women as equal to men, it is often a very hard life that women have to endure. The quote from page 25 shows how determined Adunni is to make something of herself, to have a "louding voice." She also knows that education is the key that will unlock her future and her dreams.
But all does not go according to plans. Her father stops paying for her education and then she learns that he has essentially sold her to pay his bills to a man who already has two wives. Yet, despite her circumstances Adunni is determined to somehow get back to school.
I listened to the audiobook recording of The Girl With the Louding Voice read by Adjoa Andoh, who is a British-Ghanaian actress. The book is written in vernacular and Ms. Andoh does a wonderful job with it and the Nigerian accent. As Adunni's English is poor, so is the written text on the page. As it improves, so does the writing. At first it is difficult to understand in both the print and the audiobook, but give a few pages (or minutes) and the ears and the brain will catch up. I love the quote from the first page where she talks about her father's "eyesballs." Just imagine how hard it would be to improve your language skills if all you had were a few years of school and no role models speaking it at home. May I suggest that you find a sample of the audiobook and listen to a few minutes of it. I bet you too will be charmed.
Adunni never, ever gave up her dream of going to school. Her determination and kind spirit attracted helpers along her path to guide and assist her. Eventually it all pays off.
This is our May book club selection and I can't wait to talk about it with my friends. Here are some questions that seem like good discussion generators at Bookchat. Beware, however, there are spoilers.
I loved this book and hope everyone reads it. I gave it to my mom for Mother's Day thanking her for being a great role model of a woman with a "louding voice." Thanks, Mom!
(RHS Book Club, May 2021)