Matilda Lamptey isyears 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 s, during the ten years leading up to Independence 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 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 thereof We get an insight into the two worlds that these changing times held the conflict between Christianity and Traditionalism, Racism vs social standing, freedom to act and the expectations of others In many respects this is a powerful novel on the human condition, the fact that it needs tending in order for life to be bearable Certainly this novel focuseson the women than it does on the men, but when it does switch perspective we see a new and believable aspect to their behaviour that lends weight to the novel overall 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 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 worked in Africa when they were the colonial authorities.The book was never boring, even though there was a lot of historical background to the story Major kudos to the author for this achievement in a debut novel 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 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 fortunes It was easy to identify with Matilda, a teenager thrust into adulthood, and forced to deal with an uncaring husband, and a jealous rival She quickly adjusted to her new life and made the best of her situation I admired her for her desire to improve herself.I liked the view of Africa, both from the perspective of the locals and the ex pats The lifestyle and traditions of the town s people, which contrasted with their Christianity Matilda s maturity made her admirable, along with her willingness to adapt to changes She made the ultimate sacrifice, which branded her as a woman of character.This debut novel was long 561 pages , and took me a while to read, but I enjoyed it thoroughly Matilda s gradual movement from childhood to womanhood was handled with style and grace, so too the tragedy and turmoil in her life The setting came to life, which provided a rich backdrop for this well told story The stopped short of un put downable, and the forays into Audrey s point of view became a tad bit irritating, so I rated Cloth Girl a four star read What was it that made all these strong men cry in front of her.Why all of a sudden did everyone think that hers were the strongest shoulders around The story is told from the perspective of 2 women a newly married British lady who s moved to the then Gold Coast to join her husband and a local 14 year old who s forced to become the 2nd wife of an elite Harvard trained Ghanaian lawyer It s a story about Gold Coast, differing cultures, women and womanhood The themes soo tie in with What was it that made all these strong men cry in front of her.Why all of a sudden did everyone think that hers were the strongest shoulders around The story is told from the perspective of 2 women a newly married British lady who s moved to the then Gold Coast to join her husband and a local 14 year old who s forced to become the 2nd wife of an elite Harvard trained Ghanaian lawyer It s a story about Gold Coast, differing cultures, women and womanhood The themes soo tie in with the iwd2020 theme Each for Equal It shows our journey as a people especially women, from the traditional roles assigned us to how with education, the world blossoms before you The book also touches on the moral benefits of some of our cultural values I found myself transported into Jamestown in Gold Coast and into the bangalows on stilts I could feel Audrey s depression and how it was swept under the carpet could feel Matilda s pain at having to chose duty and responsibility over passion and love.Favourite Quotes 1 He had given up on life, before life gave up on him, and spent his years living as a passive spectator, watching with a mixture of bemusement and confusion as everyone else s life was played out before him that peaceful look was not there because he was pleased..he looks that way because he has taken his mind away from here 2 I know that money is not everything, but in our world, it s nearly everything.3 We still depend on men for everything we have I had to realise very young that in order to have a good life, a painless life, I had to accept my place I learned to humor my husband very early, to make him think that he was always right Then left me peace You too have to learn to accept that, as unfair as it seems to you, you have no choice in this matter 4 I know you have no say in the general direction in which your life is flowing, but you can decide some of the paths you will take along this mystifying journey 5 I have never sought to remain where I am not wanted 6 When I was younger, I wanted love But now I see that other things are most important Such as respect, as an example 7 A needy woman is never needed 8 I will try not to be a woman people feel sorry for9 What was it that made all these strong men cry in front of her.Why all of a sudden did everyone think that hers were the strongest shoulders around10 We are not here to have desires We are here to have children and to uphold our family name.11 What exactly is it that you want from life that you think Lawyer Bannerman will not be able to give you Matilda was taken aback by the irritation in Patience s voice I don t know Love Friendship You don t need a husband to give you those things I am your friend, and as for love, that will come You need a husband for money and children Anything else is extra