Lucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies, comes to North America to work as an au pair for Lewis and Mariah and their four children. At first glance Lewis and Mariah are a blessed couple – handsome, rich, and seemingly happy. Almost at once, however, Lucy begins to notice cracks in their beautiful facade.
With a mixture of anger and compassion, Lucy scrutinizes the privileged, facile world of her employers while comparing it to the vivid realities of her home in the Caribbean. Lucy has no illusions about her own past, but neither is she prepared to be deceived about where she presently is.
In this environment a new person unfolds: passionate, sexually forthright, and disarmingly honest. In Lucy, Jamaica Kincaid has created a startling new character: a captivating heroine possessed with clear-sightedness and ferocious integrity.
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Beautifully precise prose . . . It leaves the reader with the unforgettable experience of having met a ferociously honest woman on her own uncompromising terms
New York Times
Brilliant . . . Lucy confirms Ms. Kincaid as a both a daughter of Bronte and Woolf and her own inimitable self
Wall Street Journal
A furious, broken-hearted gem of a novel . . . Part of the richness of this book is the way we come to see, as Lucy struggles to do, the connections between those of us who have too much and those who will never have enough - and between 'a sentence for life' (what can't be changed in the self) and that which can be wrestled with and, at least, understood
San Francisco Chronicle