Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £14.99

Buy Now for £14.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

Captured, abducted and married into Boko Haram, the narrator of this story witnesses and suffers the horrors of a community of men governed by a brutal code of violence. Barely more than a girl herself, she must soon learn how to survive as a woman with a child of her own. Just as the world around her seems entirely consumed by madness, bound for hell, she is offered an escape of sorts - but only into another landscape of trials and terrors amidst the unforgiving wilds of northeastern Nigeria, through the forest and beyond; a place where her traumas are met with the blinkered judgment of a society in denial. How do we love in a world that has lost its moorings? How can we comprehend the barbarism of our enemies and learn forgiveness for atrocities committed in the name of ideology?

©2019 Edna O’Brien (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"By an extraordinary act of the imagination we are transported into the inner world of a girl who, after brutal abuse as a slave to Nigerian jihadis, escapes and with dogged persistence begins to rebuild her shattered life. Girl is a courageous book about a courageous spirit." (J.M. Coetzee)

What listeners say about Girl

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book!

The tension in this book jumped off the page. I walked with Mariam, saw what she saw, felt the horror of the atrocities that were heaped on her. What a terrible piece of history for a country and it’s people. The narration was excellent - the story brought to life by Sheila Atim. This book is a tribute to those young girls, and Edna O’Brien is to be applauded for bringing it to us.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Powerful tale told a little too sparsely

It is hard to criticise a giant like O’Brien, and I cant fault the story which is meticulously researched, but I just wish she hadn’t spared the horses when it came to the writing. The prose is so sparse at times it makes for a dull read/listen and detracts from the authority of the narrative. I’m still glad I finished it as it’s an important story. Authethically narrated.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Astounding

An amazing feat of writing perfectly matched by a beautiful narration. A terrifying affirmation of humanity.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Tough but gripping and important

I found this audio book like watching a movie, so engrossing was it. It’s a bleak story which makes the tangential point that poverty breeds pitilessness, as well as the more obvious one that we can be brought to believe what we need to to survive.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 06-12-19

Amazing story of one girl's fight to survive

Amazing story of one girl's fight to survive. Very disturbing at times but you feel you have to listen because this us a story of what men can do and how girls survive their cruelty. A very humbling and highly emotional story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Searing

I am surprised this novel went a little bit under the radar. It is an incredible feat of empathy and understanding from an Irish writer concerning a Nigerian girls life. She inhabits the place, villages and camps in a section of Nigeria and the surroundings that is intensely impacted by war and radicalism. Loved it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping story

Narration was my least favourite part of the book. The Narrator, when changing points of view would switch accents and so the protagonist had both a "Nigerian" accent and a British accent. I wish she had just picked one and stuck with it.

*Spoiler* The begining was pretty gruesome. The vivid descriptions of the rapes and the stoning of a women made me pause and come back to the the book.

There is a lot of description which might be the authors style but she was also able to tell the story concisely, which was an interesting juxtaposition.

I wouldn't read this book if I were feeling low cause it does make you reflect of the world we live in and the relentless plight of others, it's no Sophie Kinsella that's for sure. great for the genre that it falls in!