I don’t usually review books that have a million reviews only because I think what does my little voice count amongst over six thousand (insert big number) reviews?
But I just have something to say; this book is the most beautifully bittersweet piece of art I have ever read in my 46 years (and I’ve read a lot of books during that time).
Adunni (the protagonist) would have wanted me to because she had a louding voice.
This book gives so much to the reader, and so much to me that I didn’t want it to end. Adunni is a fourteen year old girl who lives with her father and brothers in a village. Her mother died recently and she is obviously still grieving. Adunni knows there is a better life for her somewhere, a life with choices. I loved the thread where a bloke arrives in his car asking for her mum. This is the start of Adunni’s quest, and she is so sweet she dreams of making a better life not just for herself but her family too.
Adunni’s village is in Nigeria, in 2014. Adunni’s father sells her to be the third wife of a much older man. This means that Adunni cannot follow her dreams. (I’m not spoiling here – this is in the blurb).
A heart-breaking tragedy follows and this catapults Adunni into yet another new life. She must run away from her marriage and accept employment as a maid.
Everything she has been through does not break her spirit (or her voice). At this point in the novel, I had enjoyed the rich characters. The characters that come next are even more gripping and real. I felt like I was there, in Adunni’s little bedroom waking up at five in the morning to complete thankless tasks.
I wanted to know what made Big Madam the way she was.
I loved Adunni’s journey, she used her voice and she learned to listen.
I wondered if Kofi was the friend who would listen to Adunni – he was not the only one.
The language made me smile, and made me ‘see’ the characters.
The ending is just awesome, and I cried. I cried tears of happiness, tears of hope, (and I felt a bit sorry for myself because the book ended).
Recommending books is tricky – but I AM recommending you read this one.
Honestly, I can’t do this book justice. It is my new favourite. I’ve told my daughter she MUST read it (she is 24, doesn’t read but definitely wants to read this).
I was left feeling lucky that I went to school, that I’ve had the opportunity to make choices about my life. I will never ignore a book, just because it has been ‘hyped’. And I will always use my voice – Adunni would want me to.
Happy reading, Samantha 🙂