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My Driver

by Maggie Gee

A novel of believable characters with endearing eccentricities. Middle aged Vanessa, an English novelist, visits Kampala hoping to meet up with Mary, her one time Ugandan cleaner. Travelling on her own, Vanessa finds Africa both exotic and bewildering - and for the reader, the potential for tragedy is never far away. But this is not a dark read as there is always the feeling that things will work out well in the end.

Extract

And she does; as he eats and shifts and dozes, as the branches of the tree above them start to stir, as the heat increases and the sky blackens, and across the paradisal floating tapestry of flowers ('It is water hyacinth, Trevor. It's a weed'), which is still crystal-bright in the afternoon sun, an astonishing purplish blue storm comes bellying, so very slowly growing, thickening, quickening, now eating the horizon, and the breeze tastes different, it is cooling as he listens, listens without hearing as he watches her dark cushiony lips moving, and the air on his own lips freshens with rain, and Mary goes on talking and talking. ... It is her turn at last, to explain her country.

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