WellRead’s March 2020 selection was The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. Adunni is a 14-year-old girl living in an impoverished rural village in Nigeria. After her mother dies her father sells her as a third wife to an older man which is as dreadful as it sounds. She runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life for herself and realise her dream of an education, but misfortune follows. Sounds pretty bleak, we know, but it’s not in Adunni’s hands. Told in her charming, humorous and rhythmic voice (which reads a bit like Pidgin English but is uniquely Adunni’s) this is a story that cultivates humanity.
Use these discussion questions to engage with the book further, whether in a book club with friends, or just on your own as you digest the story.
Reading questions for The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré:
As you read the book did you find that your inner dialogue was being narrated by Adunni’s broken English or was that just us? How did you find the experience of reading a book narrated this way?
The book is essentially a coming-of-age story but the usual tropes have been replaced with darker material. What feelings did this elicit in you?
Naivete and innocence are difficult to write in characters. Do you think Daré succeeded in creating these in Adunni or did they seem unconvincing to you?
Adunni withstands a lot in the book and is the very definition of stoic. Do you think stoicism can be cultivated or is it something developed from lived experiences?
The book serves as a window into the lives of Nigerians of different socio-economic levels. How much did you know about Nigeria going into the book and what did you learn?
Daré’s book brings significant issues into focus and affirms how important an education is evoking the sentiment that when you educate a girl, you educate a nation. How did the insertion of these issues read to you?
- What did you make of the ending? Picking up from where the book finishes, what do you think the rest of Adunni’s life looks like?
Please note, these questions were written and distributed in March, 2020.