Book Review: The Girl with the Louding Voice

20200412_154949In Adunni’s village of Ikati, the worth of girls and women is dependent on their bride price to sustain her families survival in a village plagued by poverty and whether she can give birth to boys who will grow up to be men and continue the cycle of the objectification of the female body. Yet despite Adunni’s mother’s wish for her daughter to be educated and have a louding voice, Adunni’s fate becomes that of so many child brides in her village. Adunni’s story in The Girl with the Louding Voice is that of a young Nigerian girl who in spite of her circumstances holds onto her desire to be educated and have a louding voice. Adunni, survive’s sexual abuse at the hands of men who believe that a woman’s body is theirs to do as they please and discard when no longer of use. Despite the Adunni’s patriarchal world, her fate is also shaped by that of the women in her life, from her mother to Khadija to Ms. Tia, and Rebecca, whose life story mirrors that of Adunni’s. Adunni’s story is that of a young girl who overcomes every trial through her hope for an education and desire to have a louding voice.

Abi Dare does a beautiful job of giving life to Adunni’s voice as Adunni recounts her life story to the reader. Dare allows Adunni’s voice to come through in a broken English that is authentic because as Adunni later comes to realize, “speaking good English is not the measure of intelligent mind and sharp brain. English is only a language, like Yoruba and Igbo and Hausa.” As you read Adunni’s story you hear her voice and relive her experiences as if she is sitting in the same room with you recounting her moving life testimony. As Adunni, recounts her story, you’ll quickly come to realize that although she desires to have a louding voice, she already does as the book’s title alludes to.
The Girl with the Louding Voice is a story about overcoming despite the circumstances that we are born into. Abi Dare through Adunni gives voice to the plight of many young girls in the world whose stories are similar to Adunni’s. I give The Girl with the Louding Voice a rating of 5/5 because not only do you fall in love with the Adunni but because you feel her emotion as she recounts her story and understands the complex nature of what it means to be human in a world that we’re all trying to survive in. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys being immersed and learning from a culture that is different from yours and who whole believes that every girl deserves the right to an education and the opportunity to carve out her own path in society, not one forced upon her by patriarchal systems.

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