Michael Donkor

Hold by Michael Donkor

4th Estate

Belinda knows how to follow the rules, and how to keep a tight lid on memories of the village she left behind when she came to Kumasi to be a housegirl.

Mary is still learning the rules. Eleven years old and irrepressible, this young housegirl-in-training is the little sister Belinda never had.

Amma has had enough of the rules. A straight-A pupil at her exclusive London school, she has always been the pride of her Ghanaian parents. Until now.

They decide that sensible Belinda might be just the shining example their daughter needs. So, Belinda is summoned from Ghana to London, to befriend a troubled girl who shows no desire for her friendship…

As the Brixton summer turns to autumn, Belinda and Amma are surprised to discover the beginnings of an unexpected kinship. But when the cracks in their defences open up, the secrets they have both been holding tight threaten to seep out.

Praise from the Desmond Elliott Prize

‘On the back of the jacket, praise for Hold is topped by its description as “rich, heavy, painful, funny and full”, a slightly indigestible blend of attributes for a novel but an accurate enough summing-up of its attractive mix of tumultuous incident, emotional turmoil and delicious interlude.’

About the Author

Michael Donkor was born in London and raised in a Ghanaian household where talking lots and reading lots were vigorously encouraged. He read English at Oxford before working in publishing for a number of years, but eventually decided to put his literary enthusiasms to other uses: in 2010, he retrained as an English teacher. In 2014 he was selected by Writers Centre Norwich for their Inspires Mentoring Scheme and worked with mentor Daniel Hahn.