... heartwarming, enlightening ... Abi Daré’s skillful examination of the causes and effects of corruption, child labor and child marriage forms the foundation of the novel ... The story is told in a distinctive, grammatically imperfect style by an innocent but perceptive main character who has yet to be indoctrinated by her society’s commonly held ideologies ... Through the moving story of a girl’s persistent struggle to acquire an education, The Girl With the Louding Voice brings deep, significant issues into focus.
Through Adunni's perspective, Daré demonstrates how social strata matters little for women in Nigerian society ... Through Adunni's narration, Daré introduces readers to the full scope of the young woman's widening world. The narrator's attempts to make the unknown familiar often come across like metaphors in poetry. Readers leave Adunni knowing that she has the intellectual resources and the guts to face whatever challenges she must in order to attain her goals.
Nigeria’s creative industry is worth billions of dollars and provides jobs for thousands. Starting with poverty statistics forces the reader to draw conclusions about Nigeria before they have even begun, telegraphing that their response should be one of pity ... The results of this invented English are uneven. Sometimes it yields original and humorous imagery...At other times, Adunni’s mangled dialect seems to turn her into an object of fun, both to the reader and also to the book’s other characters, as though she is the butt of a joke she is not aware of ... The reader is privy to Adunni’s thoughts and one wonders why she needs to invent a language to think in when she already has one in which she is fluent: throughout the novel she sings in Yoruba and at one point even acts as a Yoruba translator. Why couldn’t Adunni’s interior life be translated from fluent Yoruba into fluent English? ... The story told in this novel is an important one. The trauma of girls forced into marriage and the blight of domestic slavery in Nigeria are both issues that must be brought to light ... joins a long and fine tradition of issue-led novels that have sparked conversations resulting in social change. Social justice is a laudable intention when writing a novel, yet one also reads them for subtler and less concrete gains.
... captivating ... Daré’s arresting prose provides a window into the lives of Nigerians of all socioeconomic levels and shows readers the beauty and humor that may be found even in the midst of harrowing experiences. Although the problems and antagonists Adunni faces would challenge even capable adults, she defies almost everyone’s expectations and not only survives but thrives.
Abi Daré is a writer who not only knows how to create a powerful sensory impression, but also one who can really work the rhythm, texture and music of language. The words jump off the page ... e get to see her experimenting with language in real time and helps make the novel’s linguistic exuberance an important, and very appealing factor in the story ... Such a plight is familiar in fiction, but The Girl with the Louding Voice never feels like standard fare. It’s lifted not only by the verve of its prose, but also its touching explorations of friendship and solidarity. It has an emotional connection that remains strong even in the final pages, when the story occasionally pushes over into melodrama ... moment like this one highlight a wider tendency in the book to preach down to its readers. Still, the whiff of sanctimony never gets strong enough to crowd out the book’s more powerful flavours. The Girl with the Louding Voice remains vibrant.
Daré, who grew up in Lagos and now lives in the U.K., paints a bleak and vivid portrait of the expectations and sexual dangers for rural Nigerian girls, who are exploited as workers and punished for having 'a louding voice' (meaning they dare to want a say in their own future). Adunni’s dialect will be unfamiliar to some readers, but the rhythm of her language grows easier to follow the more you read, and her courage and determination to make her own way in life despite terrible setbacks are heartbreaking and inspiring. Daré provides a valuable reminder of all the young women around the world who are struggling to be heard and how important it is that we listen to them ... A moving story of what it means to fight for the right to live the life you choose.