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My Cleaner Paperback – 18 May 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Telegram Books (18 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846590086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846590085
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Beautifully observed, intelligent and moving ... a carefully wrapped surprise that gets better and better with the unravelling. Scotsman

Darkly comic Guardian

An intelligent and satisfying read. --Sunday Times

Much of the joy of reading Maggie Gee derives from her ability to take control of a complex and multi-layered narrative and render it as accessible and satisfying as a television soap. Her prose is rich and gossipy; it mixes the highbrow with the vernacular, and is, at times, shockingly cynical. Observer

Must Read: we get the trademark Gee humour and also a thoughtful, moving read. New Nation

A smart satire on a subject central to most women s lives ... we either keep our houses clean, or pay someone else to do it. It s a queasy thought ... and [one] you will never brush casually aside again after reading My Cleaner. --Daily Telegraph

Gee satirises the liberal conscience of the chattering classes with uncomfortable perception in this hugely enjoyable novel ... her portrayal of Britain s new underclass of immigrant workers is presented with her trademark stinging clarity. Metro

My Cleaner is another successful attempt on Gee s part to inhabit the mind of someone who is quite unlike her: in this case, a black Ugandan ... Gee gives all her characters, white and black, male and female, the dignity of knowing that they live according to the choices they have made. New Statesman

It s amazing how many details, characters, stories within stories, Maggie Gee s unquenchable exuberance crams into this comparatively short book. --The Spectator

Synopsis

My cleaner. She does my dirty work. She knows more about me than anyone else in the world. But does she, in fact, like me? Does her presence fill me with shame? Ugandan Mary Tendo worked for many years in the white middle-class Henman household in London, cleaning for Vanessa and looking after her only child, Justin. More than ten years after Mary has left, Justin - now twenty-two, handsome and gifted - is too depressed to get out of bed. To his mother's surprise, he asks for Mary. When Mary responds to Vanessa's cry for help and returns from Uganda to look after Justin, the balance of power in the house shifts dramatically. Both women's lives change irrevocably as tensions build towards a startling climax on a snowbound motorway. Maggie Gee confronts racism and class conflict with humour and tenderness in this moving, funny, engrossing read.

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