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.
... 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.