the full matilda

Broadway Books 2004

Available in paperback and Kindle editions

Buy on Amazon SMU’s Matilda Microsite

Matilda Housewright hails from a long line of venerable and well-respected African American retainers—her family has been in “service” for generations, serving Washington, D.C., politicos and other upper-crust families. The daughter of the indispensable majordomo Jacob Housewright, Matilda grew up in the house of a powerful D.C. senator and learned how to be a hostess extraordinaire—and has perfected the art of service. But after her father dies and she starts a catering business with her brother, Matilda begins to question who she is and what, exactly, she’s serving. Told in the voices of the men in her life, with connecting interludes from Matilda, the reader indeed gets The Full Matilda, a glorious glimpse inside the intriguing life of a captivating woman in the midst of change as she maneuvers through a web of secrets, expectations, and worn-out social mores.

Twice a year, maybe three times if I’m lucky, I stumble across one of those rare novels so transporting that for days I am lost to my family. Laundry accumulates, dirty dishes teeter on the counter and e-mails go hopelessly unanswered. Just one chapter into The Full Matilda, and I knew I was headed for trouble…. Lucky readers of The Full Matilda should be prepared to put their lives on hold until the last page is turned.