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THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE
February 4, 2020
Adunni is only fourteen years old when her father marries her off to an older man in the village. She’s his third wife, and the expectation is that she will begin having babies (preferably boys) immediately. Lucky for her, as the youngest and most fertile wife, she has the privilege of having sex with the old man and his rotten teeth three days a week. I can’t even… 😭
Things don’t go well for Adunni, and she has to make a run for it. A friend of a friend gets her a job as a housemaid for Big Madam, a ruthless but rich woman in the city. Adunni is safe from her old life for now, yes, but Big Madam beats her daily. And Big Madam’s husband keeps following Adunni around making suggestive comments, so things aren’t looking good.
Adunni knows she can’t stay in the house for long, not without something seriously bad happening. So with the help of some new friends, she tries to find a way to escape so she can go to school. Her only wish is to be one of those girls her mother used to talk about: a girl who can speak up and be listened to, a girl with a louding voice.
I can see what all the hype is about. The Girl with the Louding Voice is a special book. It’s informative and brutally eye-opening, but also just so heartfelt and sweet. Seeing the world through Adunni’s eyes is heartbreaking, but her youthful optimism and determination make the tough topics (of child marriage, rape, abuse, human trafficking, domestic slavery, unsafe birthing practices, punishing fertility rituals, etc.) bearable. Somehow this book ends up being more hopeful than depressing. I loved the ending, too. God, I needed that ending. Definitely a book that can’t be missed.