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Cloth Girl

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Matilda Lamptey is 14-years-old when black Gold Coast lawyer, Robert Bannerman, resolves to take her as his second wife. For his first wife, this is a colossal slap in the face. For Matilda, it is an abrupt end to childhood. This tale is set in British West Africa, in the 1940s, during the ten years leading up to Independence.
Published June 1st 2006 by Little Brown and Co. (UK)
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Tolulope Popoola
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this novel. I liked the vivid descriptions of life in Ghana during the 1930s and I understood the culture and environment that the main character, Matilda grew up in. The author did a good job with Matilda as it was interesting to watch her grow up from a young, naive child-bride to a mature and wise woman, wife and mother. That said, I didn't like the other character, Audrey. Although Audrey's marriage and social circles gave me an insight into how the British lived and ...more
J.L. Campbell
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book is set in Africa in the 1930’s and tells the story of Matilda, a fourteen-year-old girl, who gets married to a much older man (Robert Bannerman) soon after he sees her in his family compound. Julie - Robert’s first wife - is affronted by her husband’s marriage to a ‘cloth girl’ and makes Matilda’s life hell. The ‘cloth girl’ reference comes from part of the traditional dress.

Life makes a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn for Matilda, whose family is eager to capitalize on her new fortu
Nadia Giannakopoulou
Nice story, an interesting insight into post-colonial Ghana's history and culture. I expected more of the story between Mathilda and Alan - could be the base for a next book, Violet's lifestory. 😊
Mandy Setterfield
Holiday read Zakinthos May2018. For book group. Passable. Not sure I would have continued if I’d been at home. The heat of Africa was fitting for a summer holiday.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, but quite long
Gijs Grob
Roman over twee zeer verschillende vrouwen in Accra, Ghana, tegen het einde van de koloniale tijd (ca. 1937-1948).

Matilda is een Ghanees mooi meisje, dat op veertienjarige leeftijd uitgehuwelijkt wordt aan de veel oudere, rijke, zwarte, maar zeer Britse advocaat Robert Bannerman. Dit zeer tegen de zin van Bannermans eerste vrouw, Julie, die vervolgens er veel aan doet om Matilda's leven moeilijk te maken.

De andere hoofdpersoon, Audrey, is een magere Britse vrouw, die haar enthousiaste man achter
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another touching coming of age story, set in Ghana. Matilda is young, too young to have thought of marriage to the good prospect that is "Lawyer". At the same time as we watch her grow and mature, we are faced with the tale of Audrey, an English woman displaced who slowly unravels under the African setting.

What I loved about this novel is its mostly measured, unhurried pace. The author gives us the opportunity to get to know all of the characters, how they interact and the consequences
Marina Maidou
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sight from Ghana a little before its indepentence, watching the life of a young girl in her indepentence. A fresh view where everything is given in a natural way and you live beside the heat, the cooking, the colours in clothes, the compined religion, the family world and the difference between the Africans and the British. Even in its darker pages the book never becomes depressing. I wish it could have more pages with Matilda and the kids, hers or not. Maybe the end ishn't the happy end we wo ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
A decent first book but unfortunately nothing that blew me out of the water. It was a very very quick read (especially for nearly 600 pages!) and did captivate my attention but there was something lacking. It annoyed me how we only got a little bit of insight into Robert's character towards the end and Audrey's character was lacking in depth. The best thing about Cloth Girl was really the insight into Ghanian culture during the colonial period surrounding WWII. Summed up: good but not epic.
Bobi Slavin
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
1930's Gold coast, 14 year old Matilda is taken as second wife to esteemed lawyer, Robert. A coming of age for Matilda and for a colony on the brink of independence from England. A beautifully written and very atmospheric debut from MHM.
Nana Fredua-Agyeman
Marilyn Heward Mills' Cloth Girl takes place in the immediate years after independence and traces the life of an unfortunate girl who moves through poverty into riches.

the link below leads to my review on my blog.

Ali Dunnett
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is set in Ghana shortly after independence. It describes the situation of Matilda who, aged 14, has to become the second wife of a rich lawyer. It is an engaging story and describes a time and a place which was deeply divided along racial, gender and financial lines. Marilyn Heward Mills gives the women voices, raising wider issues about female oppression
I enjoyed getting to know the various characters. The two main ones are Matilda, a young Ghanian woman, and Audrey, the wife of a British Colonial Officer. The setting is the late 1930s - the late 1940s.
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
an ok story of the culture of the Ghanians before independence. also a look at the colonizer, racism and observations of each group of the other. predicatble, contrived, but interesting never the less.

the cloth girl is the number two wife, poor, uneducated but wiley!
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
One-dimensional. Could have used a good editor to chop off about 250 pages of pointless writing.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
gewoon mooi, al is het verhaal dat niet steeds... maar hoe kan het ook anders?
Jul 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Wonderful book to read.
Jul 29, 2011 added it
For the first while I was thinking *no way can I read this load of rubbish* BUT then found it stirred anger toward how woman can be treated. I ended up really enjoying it.
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Anne Andersen
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Jan 27, 2009
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Aug 11, 2016
Sinead Harahan
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Feb 21, 2015
Kate Packman
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Sep 14, 2011
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Jun 07, 2011
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Apr 20, 2017
Maria Wickens
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting insiight into post colonial ghana. Worth a skim thru
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Nov 15, 2013
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