28 Oct / The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré [in Library Journal]
If reading various dialects on the page is at all challenging, allow Adjoa Andoh to immediately immerse you in the mellifluous Nigerian English patois Abi Daré infuses into her empowering debut novel. At 14, Adunni is denied the education she so longs for, and is sold by her father to become an abusive older man’s third wife.
Adunni survives because of the protective friendship of the second wife, but a horrific tragedy sends Adunni running to Lagos. She’s tricked into indentured servitude in a wealthy home, where she literally steps into the left-behind shoes and uniform of her predecessor, who seemingly disappeared without warning. Despite her new mistress’s relentless violence and the master’s vulgar advances, Adunni finds unexpected friendships and, eventually, the “louding voice” she so desires.
Chameleonic British actor Andoh prodigiously voices – sings, cries, chuckles – a myriad cast with convincing distinction. Adunni often can’t get her thoughts out fast enough, her husband remains an ugly threat, the wealthy Lagos couple bounce between shrieking competition and wheedling sideshow, Miss Tia’s posh British voice encourages.
Discerning readers should grab this fresh and exhilarating book in whichever medium proves most accessible.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult