What To Read If You Loved The Girl With The Louding Voice
Ahead of the next installment of our online book club, we’ve rounded up a list of inspiring titles to lose yourself in if you loved Abi Daré’s bestselling book The Girl with the Louding Voice.
The Blessed Girl, by Angela Makholwa
Young, beautiful and ambitious, Bontle Tau has Johannesburg wrapped around her finger. Her admirers are falling over themselves to pay for her Mercedes, her penthouse, and her Instagrammable holidays. She’s come a long way, and it’s been far from easy. Yes, Bontle gets the blues from time to time. The shrink keeps wanting to talk about a past she’s put behind her. But what she doesn’t think about can’t hurt her, can it?
The God Child, by Nana Oforiatta Ayim
Maya grows up in Germany in the shadow of her beautiful, volatile mother: a whirlwind, spinning stories of the family’s former glory. Then Kojo arrives. Kojo has a way of talking about Ghana, empire, and history and for the first time, Maya understands that her parents are exiles. But fate intervenes, and the cousins are separated. Returning to Ghana years later, Maya’s homecoming sets off an exorcism of her country’s darkest demons. In this destruction’s wake, Maya realises her purpose: to tell the story of her mother, her cousin, their land and their loss, in her own voice.
How do we know we’re doing it right, by Pandora Sykes
Modern life is full of choices; but how do we know what our best life looks like? And what if we get it wrong? Incisive, wide-ranging and witty, How Do We Know We’re Doing it Right? explores the questions, anxieties and agendas that consume our lives. Pandora Sykes interrogates the stories we’ve been sold and the ones we tell ourselves – from happiness to wellness; womanhood to consumerism – in ways that are both surprising and reassuring. How Do We Know We’re Doing it Right? will spark a thousand conversations and encourage us to find our own path to contentment.
Educated, by Tara Westover
Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist. As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with the severing of the closest of ties.
Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson
A novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, Red at the Bone is the latest project from the award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming. It’s 2001, the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer, Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony – a celebration that ultimately never took place. Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history.
Teeth In the Back of My Neck, by Monika Radojevic
An arresting debut collection from a young poet, Monika Radojevic’s Teeth in the Back of My Neck – launching in May this year – was the inaugural winner of the #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, dedicated to discovering the stories that aren’t being heard and to find the best writer of a new generation. Written with profound depth and insight, the poems in the book will explore the joys, the confusions and the moments of sadness behind having one’s history scattered around the globe – and the way in which your identity is always worn on your skin, whether you like or not.
Such A Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with a ‘personal brand’ and the best of intentions, resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When she meets someone from Alix’s past, the two women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege.
Kololo Hill, by Neema Shah
Kololo Hill is set in Uganda in 1972, where a devastating decree is issued: all Ugandan Asians must leave the country in ninety days. They must take only what they can carry, give up their money and never return. For Asha and Pran, who have been married a matter of months, it means abandoning the family business that Pran has worked so hard to save. For his mother, Jaya, it means saying goodbye to the house that has been her home for decades. But violence is escalating in Kampala and people are disappearing. Will they all make it to safety in Britain and will they be given refuge if they do? And all the while, a terrible secret about the expulsion hangs over them, threatening to tear the family apart.