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All booksContemporary fictionThe Girl with the Louding Voice
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
Contemporary fiction

The Girl with the Louding Voice

Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Girl with the Louding Voice!
We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Abi Daré, on your first book!

by Abi Daré

Quick take

A hopeful coming-of-age, where a young Nigerian woman strives to finish her education and live the life she wants.

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Why I love it

Jenna Bush Hager
Co-host, TODAY with Hoda & Jenna

The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré is a book of hope and grace. The fictional story of a Nigerian girl named Adunni, who dreams of getting an education despite challenging circumstances, reflects the experience of many young women around the world. On the heels of my recent trip to Vietnam, where I had the opportunity to meet brave young women who are overcoming extraordinary odds just to stay in school, I couldn’t think of a more important novel for my book club to read this February.

We first meet Adunni living in a small Nigerian village shortly after the death of her mother. Without her supportive mom, Adunni is forced into a loveless marriage by her father in exchange for money. So she runs away — and from there, her misfortunes only multiply. Throughout the story, though Adunni continually faces one heartbreaking obstacle after another, she refuses to let her voice be silenced.

Daré, a debut novelist, draws readers in with Adunni’s fresh and unique voice. While reading, there were times when I felt like Adunni was whispering, singing and in parts, crying to me. This is truly a love story about one young girl whose resilience and grit drive her, until her voice is loud and clear. I hope you’ll read with me this month and join in the conversation on our Read with Jenna Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads pages.

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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 for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni's father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir.

When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing.

But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can—in a whisper, in song, in broken English—until she is heard.

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Get an early look from the first pages of The Girl with the Louding Voice.

Member thoughts

All (13748)
All (13748)
Love (9954)
Like (3446)
Dislike (348)
13992 ratings
  • 71% Love
  • 25% Like
  • 2% Dislike
  • Towson, MD

    What a tear jerking novel! The way the story is told thru Adunni’s vernacular English makes the story so authentic and it really pushed the boundaries of understanding other people’s “normals”.

  • Johnston, IA

    This was such a great read! The language was so unique, it made me want to keep reading. The story was incredible; I cannot believe this was Daré’s first novel. I’m excited to see what she writes next

  • Anchorage, AK

    I found this book hard to read because so many awful things happened to Adunni. That being said, her story is compelling and worth taking the time with— just don’t start it if you’re having a bad day

  • New Orleans, LA

    Adunni is an incredible, inspiring, beautiful character. Daré’s clever use of voice brought her to life—I felt like a pitiful bystander to her difficult life and I felt myself wanting a louding voice.

  • Nashville, TN

    This is a beautiful story. I liked how the author used broken English for Adunni’s voice. I was immersed into Adunni’s life—her traumas & triumphs. I loved the message on how a louding voice = power.

  • Chicago , IL

    It took me a few pages to get into the book, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. I loved Adunni’s will to never give up no matter what life threw at her. Made me grateful for all I have. Inspiring!

  • Salt Lake City, UT

    This should have been 2020’s BOTY hands down! I’m so thankful to be a BFF, otherwise I might have missed the opportunity to read it. I think everyone should check it out b/c it’s an important story!

  • Caldwell, ID

    I could not put this book down! Adunni is so fierce, brave and strong especially after all she had to endure. I was so sad to finish the book, and often think to myself “I wonder how Adunni is doing?”

  • Cedar, MI

    Don’t keep pushing this one back on your TBR. Definitely an all-time favorite for me! There is no way you won’t fall in love with Adunni. She is full of hope & resilience. Inspiring, compelling debut!

  • Springfield, PA

    A tough tale told w/ beauty, love & hope - of a world filled with fear, rage & loss...of ‘slavery without chains’ & the power of kindness & strength of character to face the evil in order to defeat it

  • Woodside, NY

    Infuriating and ultimately hopeful. You forget at times that it is modern day, or at least you wish it wasn’t. It is. It’s a voice and perspective not often featured, making it even more critical now

  • Gilroy, CA

    I’ve never read a character like Adunni before this book. Ms. Abi Dare´’s debut novel is about Adunni, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl, whose only wish is to receive an education. I highly recommend it.

  • Charlotte, NC

    4.5/5: Wow! What an incredible journey this books takes you on. Sad and joyful at times. I’m not giving it a 5 because the ending leaves you with more questions than answers. It doesn’t feel finished!

  • Inglewood, CA

    It’s decided: Adunni is one of those characters that we should introduce to our daughters and mentees. Loved the message of having a “louding voice” as an instrument of power. Simply amazing debut!

  • Parlin, NJ

    I think it’s so important to learn about each other and cultures and I’m thankful that this book allowed me a glipse of that. Adunni is a strong, powerful young woman, and her story needs to be heard.

  • Westminster, CO

    This to me is no doubt BOTY material. I have never felt so many emotions and felt like I was experiencing both trauma and triumphs side by side with the main character. Heartwrenching & beautiful. ❤️

  • Mableton , GA

    Amazing writing- I loved how the author wrote in the main character’s broken English. It makes you feel you are in her head, right there with her thru the whole story. This book should not be missed!

  • Deltona , FL

    Simply in awe of this book! At times Adunni’s trials and tribulations made me upset for her but this story and character are truly unforgettable. Honestly a perfect read for the time we are living in.

  • Sandy Hook, CT

    I ended up loving that it was written in vernacular-it made the character more real and her growth more tangible. I loved that the physical words/language on the pages changed as Adunni’s English did.

  • New York, NY

    I felt fully invested in heroine Adunni and her journey to claim a better life for herself and the opportunity to get an education. I loved author’s fresh use of words and imagery to share this story.

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