Mama say: "Your schooling is your voice, child.
It will be speaking for you even if you didn't open your mouth to talk.
It will be speaking till the day God is calling you come."
That day, I tell myself that even if I am not getting anything in this life,
I will go to school and become Teacher.
Because I don't just want to be having any kind voice . . .
I want a louding voice.
14-year-old Adunni has a dream: to be educated. But her father needs her bride-price, so sells his daughter to an older man, who demands she give him the fine boy-children his first two wives have failed to produce.
When things go tragically wrong, Adunni flees to Lagos. It's what she has always wanted, to leave Ikati and see the world, and though her heart is full of sorrow for her lost family and the shame she has left behind, still Adunni will not be quiet and do as she's told.
Sold again as a housemaid to a successful businesswoman, she continues to question all she sees: why Big Madam, in her big house, has a cage of sadness round her soul; what happened to Rebecca, the girl who worked in her place before; and whether it is possible, when you are born into a life of no money and plenty suffering, to become a somebody of value.
(P) 2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd