Looks like you're in the UK! 🇬🇧

This is our US website. If you'd like to make a donation or sign-up for email updates please visit our UK website.

Stay in the US | Continue to the UK

Looks like you're in Germany! 🇩🇪

This is our US website. If you'd like to make a donation or sign-up for email updates please visit our Germany website.

Stay in the US | Continue to Germany

Book Club Series - The Girl with the Louding Voice

Welcome to the Women for Women International Book Club! This month we’re reading The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel by Abi Daré. 

Daré’s debut novel follows the story of Adunni, a fourteen-year-old girl growing up in rural Nigeria who longs to continue her education when her father decides to marry her off for money. The Girl with the Louding Voice’s message resonated with readers immediately, becoming a New York Times Bestseller and the winner of the Bath Novel Prize 2018.  

Book cover for The Girl with the Louding Voice

What is The Girl with the Louding Voice about? 

Trigger warning: Sexual violence, physical violence, child marriage 

Adunni’s father breaks his promise to her mother when he decides to pull his daughter out of school at fourteen-years-old. Though behind some of her peers, she is committed to catching up and finishing her education so she can have “a louding voice.” But with the family struggling to generate income, her father sees marrying Adunni off to Morufu as a way to get the money that will support them.  

As Morufu’s third wife, Adunni endures abuse from him and his first wife, Labake. In her “senior wife,” Khadija, Adunni finds comfort. The situation, already difficult for Adunni, takes a turn for the worse when misfortunes befall her and the household, and Adunni flees for the city of Lagos.  

Instead of her gaining independence, Adunni is betrayed and ends up sold into domestic slavery to Big Madam’s wealthy family. In Big Madam’s household, she is beaten and lives under the threat of sexual assault, but finds friends in Kofi, the cook, and Tia, a neighbor. Throughout the story, Adunni ponders the plight of women and never loses the will to pursue her education so that she may have a louding voice and can teach other girls to find theirs.  

Discussion Questions 

Check out the discussion questions below and connect with readers on Instagram to share your reactions, thoughts and questions by using the hashtag #WFWIBookClub, and tagging us with @womenforwomen. We want to hear what you think—share with us your take on the book! 

  1. What roles were women expected to play in society in Nigeria? Were there different expectations between the rural community of Ikati and the urban setting of Lagos? Were there similarities in the expectations of women in both places? 

  2. Prior to Adunni’s marriage to Morufu, her friend, Enitan, explains that marriage is a good thing for Adunni’s future. In what ways did Enitan view marriage as a positive change? 

  3. After witnessing the fertility ritual performed on Ms. Tia, Adunni says, “I want to ask, to scream, why are the women in Nigeria seem to be suffering for everything more than the men?” What do you think she meant by that? 

  4. In what ways was Adunni a victim of slavery in her lived experiences in Ikati and Lagos? 

  5. What lessons did Big Madam and Ms. Tia learn from their time spent with Adunni? How did Adunni help them to find their own voices? 

  6. Why was education so important to Adunni, and what did she mean when she said she wants to have a “louding voice”?