Lucy, a nineteen-year-old West Indian girl, escapes her mother and her island past to work in New York as an au pair for Lewis and Mariah and their four young daughters. As she cares for them day by day, as the ring of her outward independence widens and she begins to unravel the mysteries of her own sexuality, Lucy comes to understand the love ...
Lucy, a nineteen-year-old West Indian girl, escapes her mother and her island past to work in New York as an au pair for Lewis and Mariah and their four young daughters. As she cares for them day by day, as the ring of her outward independence widens and she begins to unravel the mysteries of her own sexuality, Lucy comes to understand the love she feels for her mother, the love she feels for Mariah, and the longing ache she feels for her native land. Shot through with clear insights about class and sex and colour, written with Jamaica Kincaid's passionate, rich language, Lucy is a beautiful and moving novel.
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Publishers Weekly, 1991-08-30 Lucy, a teenager from the West Indies who has renounced her family and past, comes to America to work as an au pair and detachedly observes the deterioration of her employers' marriage. ``This is a slim book but Kincaid has crafted it with a spare elegance that has brilliance in its very simplicity,'' said PW. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly, 1990-08-17 Kincaid ( At the Bottom of the River ; Annie John ) has with this novel created an insouciant yet vulnerable narrator in the person of Lucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies who works as an au pair for a seemingly happy family in an unidentified city that one assumes is New York. Lucy is fascinated with her discoveries about American life--``At first it was all so new that I had to smile with my mouth turned down at the corners''--and with Mariah, Lewis and their four golden little daughters. Their pleasure in life intrigues Lucy, who observes, ``Even when a little rain fell, they would admire the way it streaked through the blank air.'' Lucy has renounced her own family and past, but at the same time she paradoxically expresses culturally imbued views with arrogance. She sees the world around her with both awe and contempt, and maintains a unique dead certainty about how people are. Her own sexual exploits seem more mysterious to her than the deterioration of Lewis and Mariah's marriage, which she presciently and detachedly observes. This is a slim book but Kincaid has crafted it with a spare elegance that has brilliance in its very simplicity. Lucy's is a haunting voice, and Kincaid's originality has never been more evident. First serial to the New Yorker; Literary Guild selection. (Oct.)
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