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If you love a coming of age story, if you appreciate a beautifully constructed sentence, if you want to read something as quick as it is poignant, this book is for you. 19-year-old Lucy moves from her home in the Caribbean to America, where she works as an au pair for a wealthy family and approaches her life with them with various degrees of cynicism, compassion, and quiet rage. Lucy is a compelling, insightful, narrator, and Kincaid delivers her narration in some of the most astonishing prose I have read.Lucy (Staff Pick)
The coming-of-age story of one of Jamaica Kincaid's most admired creations--newly available in paperback
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. Lewis and Mariah are a thrice-blessed couple--handsome, rich, and seemingly happy. Yet, alomst at once, Lucy begins to notice cracks in their beautiful facade. With mingled anger and compassion, Lucy scrutinizes the assumptions and verities of her employers' world and compares them with the vivid realities of her native place. Lucy has no illusions about her own past, but neither is she prepared to be deceived about where she presently is.
At the same time that Lucy is coming to terms with Lewis's and Mariah's lives, she is also unravelling the mysteries of her own sexuality. Gradually a new person unfolds: passionate, forthright, and disarmingly honest. In Lucy, Jamaica Kincaid has created a startling new character possessed with adamantine clearsightedness and ferocious integrity--a captivating heroine for our time.
“Beautifully precise prose . . . It leaves the reader with the unforgettable experience of having met a ferociously honest woman on her own uncompromising terms.” —The 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