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Marilyn Heward Mills
Cloth Girl was nominated in the First Novel category of the Costa Book Awards 2007 (formerly Whitbread).
When Matilda walked into the yard, she was out of breath and had beads of sweat on her forehead from the game she had been playing with her sisters and friends when the summons interrupted them. Similar to hopscotch, it required lots of jumping and hopping, something Matilda found increasingly difficult. She often forgot she was no longer the beanpole she had once been. She had developed curves and dips all over her body that she had not yet become comfortable with. But today she was winning for a change and it would be irritating if one of the adults sent her on an errand now. Or could it be that she was about to receive a telling off? That was what usually happened when she was summoned in front of all the adults like this. But her mother was smiling and looking pleased with herself. Her father was looking at his shoes intently as though he had suddenly realised they were on his feet.
'A vivid and assured first novel... Warm, moving, delightful.' The Times
'This unusual tale of the colonial experience hits the spot.' The Guardian
'What I liked best were the characterisations... I thought she [Matilda] was beautifully drawn... you caught the tragedy of ignorance and wilfulness... beautifully carried through.' Novelist Will Self on the BBC Live Book Club
'This is a charming optimistic tale of two women emancipating themselves against the background of a country emerging from colonial domination.' Historical Novels Review
'This is a promising debut novel from Heward Mills.' The FT Magazine
'Against a backdrop of thoroughly flawed and subsequently thoroughly likeable characters, Cloth Girl is a delightfully insightful and entertaining novel.' The Works
'Written with fluency and confidence, this is an impressive debut.' The New Statesman
'What makes it remarkable are its scope and bold ambition... This is a debut novel of substance that movingly captures the meaning of loss and the cost of gain.' Scotland on Sunday
'Isn't it great when someone recommends something to you and it turns out to be a cracker. And so it is with this hugely entertaining debut.' The Nottingham Evening Post
'Cloth Girl has the sights and smells of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) on the brink of independence leaping off the pages in Marilyn Heward Mills's stunning debut.' Pride
Marilyn Heward Mills' first novel was published in hard cover in June 2006 by Little, Brown and in paperback in October 2007 by Sphere.