I’ve been meaning to post this review for a while but wanted to wait until I found the words to describe how powerful I found it…
The reader is introduced to Adunni, a fourteen year old girl being brought up in a small Nigerian village. She loves attending a tiny school, even though she is much older than other children there, juggling her learning with cooking and cleaning for her father and two brothers. The family have little to their name and when her father needs money to keep their home, he breaks his promise to Adunni’s late mother by marrying her to a much older man. I want to rant about this part of the book as I loathed her father’s behaviour once he got his hands on the money but I daren’t in case of spoilers!
Adunni faces many hardships yet does so with a wisdom far greater than her years and with hope in her heart which shines through in Abi Dare’s beautiful writing. Adunni notices the disparities between men and women, and is determined to gain an education, find her “louding voice” and use it to speak up for herself and others.
The prose is written from Adunni’s perspective and in her dialect, which made her funny, curious, clever character leap off the page for me. I truly admire Dare’s ability to create inspirational, loveable heroines and villains I loved to loathe.
Above all, my favourite aspect of this book was Adunni’s compassion for those who were less than kind to her, and her ability to find hope in even the darkest of situations.
I absolutely loved this book, which is my favourite of the year so far, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!