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My Rating: 4| 4.5 Stars
Number of Pages: 370 pages
Year of Publication: 2006
Fourteen year old Matilda Lamptey's life changes forever when the suave and sophisticated Gold Coat lawyer Robert Bannerman decides to take her as his second wife. With her childhood snatched away, Matilda finds herself trapped in a jealous household, and finds herself constantly out-manoeuvred by Julie, Bannerman's first-wife. At the same time, we follow the story of Audrey, the wife of the assistant to the Governor in the Colonial Office. Her life has also been turned around as she faces the tedium of daily life and the unbearable heat.
Cloth Girl is a lucid account of life in colonial West Africa, told through the eyes of two very different women. Marilyn Heward Mills' first novel is full of expressive prose and a compelling read.
"Mills' first novel is an assured study of Ghanaian life... She vivdly portrays both the black and white communities and mines considerable humour from those Africans who have their feet in both camps. Above all, in the character of Matilda.. she creates a richly sympathetic portrait of a young woman whose warmth and integrity win the reader's heart along with the hearts of all those around her"- Daily Express
"Mills offers, through Matilda's eyes, a rich celebration of the country... This unusual tale of colonial experience hits the spot."- Gaurdian
I really liked this book, because it gave me a vivid picture of how Ghana was in the colonial era. I seldom read Ghanian novels, so this setting was one that comprised a new culture, new names etc and I loved how the Author made me feel what Matilda was experiencing, she basically put me right in the story. I didn't want to finish the book, so I kept devouring it bit by bit, page by page, slowly taking my time to let the words sink in.
I think I had a love-hate relationship with Audrey, sometimes I understood her depression, but most times I felt she was spoilt and ungrateful, despite all the love Alan showered on her. And because of that I never really anticipated reading her chapters, I only looked forward to the chapthers on Matilda.
But of all, I loved how Mills took us through Matilda's journey from childhood to adulthood and how the book never ever made me bored or tired.
That said, in general the book was a lovely debut and I hope to read more books by Mills.
You can acquire the book here
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