Cloth Girl Paperback – Import, January 1, 2007
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It does this in an engaging easy to read style from the beginning to the end. It also allowed for some great discussion at the book club.
Top international reviews
I enjoyed the book and there are some life lessons in there.
Anyone who is interested in the history of colonial and post colonial life in African countries, here Ghana, I recommend the novel to. Mills is a lawyer by profession. So is her writing: precise, detailed, to the point. The novel is colorful and captivating. The story shows the colonial set up by looking closely at English families who rally round H.E., the English Governor of Ghana, and Ghanaian sophisticated and other indigene families. The English protagonist are Alan, an aspiring young career ready man, good looking and loving Ghana and her people. His wife Audrey despises everything, is rude to her devoted servants and becoming an alcoholic and a laughing stock of parties, even of Accra, as stated. The Ghanaian characters are the sophisticated lawyer Bannerman with his equally refined and urbane wife Julie. The family of his clerk Saint John live in the neighbourhood. They struggle to make a living. Bannerman's eyes fall on the fourteen years old Mathilda, the clerk's niece. The "disgusting animal lust that resides deep in every male" (as his wife Julie says in frustration on page 146) brings him to desire Mathilda. He will take her as his second wife.
The story meanders around these families. They meet at crossroads in their lives. As one can envisage, Bannerman's decision brings woe to many characters in the story. So does Audrey, the English wife of Alan bring misery to her husband and upon herself. The characters are well constructed, they are round. The servants in the English family are lovingly highlighted. The scenes are written in a vivid style, one can imagine all and form pictures about what we read. The English colonial laws bring nothing but conflict, tears , and despair to Ghana's different people, then Goldcoast. The intruders were merciless and greedy, some in the disguise as humanists, wolves in sheepskin, arrogant female folks. They came in to unsettle all and bring destruction, never gave back what they took.
Hope that times are changing now!