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ourteen-year old Matilda Lamptey’s life changes forever when the suave and sophisticated Gold Coast 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. The novel was shortlisted for the 2007 Costa Awards debut novel.