Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader's Reviews > Housegirl

Housegirl by Michael Donkor
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2018-reads, arcs, kindle-version, 2018-summer-reads

3.5 stars to House Girl! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

Housegirl is set in both Ghana and London and is the story of two teen girls facing the life-expanding challenges often associated with “coming of age.”

Belinda is a rule follower, and as a “housegirl,” it is a blessing because she has to keep up with the details of running a household, according to her employers’ wishes. One of the first rules: Belinda has to forget her village and her early life.

Mary is 11-years-old, and as a soon-to-be housegirl, she is still learning the rules. She and Belinda are becoming like sisters.

Amma is the daughter of prominent Ghanaians who are friends of Belinda’s employers, and she is done with rules. The parents decide that Belinda’s disciplined and stalwart ways are the prime example for their daughter. Belinda is then sent to London to live as Amma’s companion and friend, but not without Mary feeling abandoned due to the loss of Belinda.

Amma quickly constructs barriers to keep Belinda at bay; however, slowly, Belinda is able to connect with Amma, especially with the ideas and support she receives from Mary via phone call. Amma and Belinda each have their secrets, which are exposed, affecting the dynamics between them.

I found the Ghanaian words mixed into the dialogue and broken English difficult to decipher at times, of course, and this interrupted the flow of the story. Conversely, I adored watching the girls’ friendship flourish and learning about Ghanaian culture, food, clothing, customs, and daily life.

Housegirl is a story of female friendship, coming-of-age, and claiming one’s identity. It is slower-moving, but a worthwhile effort overall due to immersive culture and well-drawn characters.

Thank you to Macmillan/Picador for the advance review copy. All opinions are my own.

My reviews can also be found on my blog:
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Reading Progress

April 4, 2018 – Shelved
April 4, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 6, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read-owned-books
April 6, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-reads
April 6, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs
April 6, 2018 – Shelved as: kindle-version
July 27, 2018 – Started Reading
July 27, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-summer-reads
August 10, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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message 1: by KAS (new)

KAS Beautiful review, Jennifer ;) I love the cover of this book! 😘

Jenny••Steamy Reads Blog•• Awesome review ❤️

message 3: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Wonderful review, Jennifer!

message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie This sounds wonderful! Great review, Jennifer!! 💕😊

message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Lovely review! Sounds like an interesting story.

message 6: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Great review , Jennifer . Just so many to read , so I’ll be skipping this one !

message 7: by Jaline (new)

Jaline Lovely review, Jennifer! I enjoyed your kindness to this book, even though the dialects broke focus. :)

message 8: by Fred (new) - added it

Fred Shaw Sounds like an amazing story. Excellent review Jennifer!

message 9: by Kara (new)

Kara Hansen A great review, Jennifer.

Mackenzie - PhDiva Books Wonderful review, Jennifer!!!

message 11: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Nice review Jennifer! Sounds like a interesting premise that didn’t quite hit the mark in its delivery. Hope you next read is amazing!

message 12: by Selena (new)

Selena Nice review Jennifer!

message 13: by JanB (new)

JanB Dialects are tough. I’m glad you still enjoyed this, it sounds like a terrific story! Nice review!

message 14: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Smith Excellent review Jennifer 👍

message 15: by Marialyce (new)

Marialyce Great review as always

message 16: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Super review Jennifer 😘

message 17: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Lovely review, Jennifer! 💜

message 18: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Great review, Jennifer!

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