Lucy

( 6 )

Overview

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 ...

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Lucy: A Novel

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Overview

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.

Lucy, a teenager from the West Indies, comes to America to work as an aupair for Lewis and Mariah and their four children--the perfect American family. Almost at once, Lucy begins to notice cracks in their beautiful facade, and bitterly compares them with the vivid realities of her native country.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

Susanna Moore
Cool and fierce . . . The toughness and elegance of Kincaid's writing is all that one could want.
The Washington Post Book World
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.
Library Journal
Like her Annie John ( LJ 4/1/85), Kincaid's new heroine travels the coming-of-age road. Lucy, a 19-year-old West Indi an, sheds her cloistered colonial upbringing by accepting a job as an au pair in New York--the perfect setting for satisfying her gluttonous appetite for both mental and sensual stimulation. The startling disintegration of her employers' marriage triggers flashbacks of home and family; the reflected details are unsettling. Lucy finds being born ``woman'' places her in a territory she wants to explore and at the same time escape. As she begins her exploration, cathartic tears blur the first pages of her diary. But Lucy plunges ahead, reassured by the discovery of an authentic self. Strong in style and substance, dazzling with its sharp-edged prose, this is a novel no one should miss. Literary Guild selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/90.-- Bibi S. Thompson, ``Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374527358
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 279,220
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. John's, Antigua. Her books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Lucy, A Small Place, The Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, My Garden (Book), Mr. Potter, Talk Stories, a collection of New Yorker writings, and My Favorite Plant, a collection of writings on gardens which she edited. In 2000 she was awarded the Prix Fémina Étranger for My Brother. She lives with her family in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 2, 2012

    An Interesting Perspective

    I purchased this novel for a college course and have grown to really enjoy it. "Lucy" is a fast read with a lot of content to analyze; her character is so unique and she thinks in a way unfamiliar with our society. This novel would make a great edition to any book club list and could keep readers entertained!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2006

    good book

    I'm surprised there's so many negative reviews...Anyway, I thought this was a great book and I could relate to Lucy's angst. I love Kincaid's writing style, it isn't sentimental at all, and I like that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2005

    A Young Womens Development

    Lucy, by Jamica Kincaid follows the life of a young women coming into her own. Written in a first person, Lucy tell her story of experiencing a new place and how it compared with her imagination. By discussing real life issues of a young adult in her situation such as homelessness and sexuality she shows how she comes into her own. Lucy, through out the novel seems to be lost and dissapointed until she meets what seems to be her only friend Mariah. It is Mariah who influences her throught out the story, she becomes her mother figure. Mariah replaces Lucy's own real mother. For the most part Lucy, by Jamaica Kincaid was an ok novel. It did not catch my interest.I was very disappointed with Lucy and how her character turns out in the end of the book. Lucy portrayed herself as an angry, unhappy person. I could not relate to her character and found it difficult to get through the novel with much interest.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2002

    A strange and wonderful book.

    Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid bothered me as I read it. But when I paused long enough to ask myself what was going on, the novel seemed to open up and reveal more of itself. Lucy, the main character was such a complex person. Some of her anti-social behavior was due to the servant status that she had, which consisted of taking care of a rich families four girls. Also Lucy was sort of transforming into an adult so that the kindness of her patron, boss was felt as patronising, the kindness semed to remind Lucy of her mother. It seemed like a continuation of the status of dependency that Lucy was trying to grow out of. Every act of kindness was seen through the lens of anger, resentment, rebellion. The novel might also be exploring colonialism. The relationshp between Third World countries and the non-Third World. Lucy may not have been ungratful. The novel explores the class relationship between the characters in a very personal way. I felt Lucy very weak and very strong when her female patrons marriage falls apart and Lucy decides that she is moving out with her female friend. The question might be for me: 'Can there be real friendship between a person in power who is very generous and a person not in power, a working class person, a person who sells their labor to make a living?' The question of racism seemed in the background, or not there at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2001

    Hard to choose sides

    Lucy is a character that can irritate you- then you can relate to her. Kincaid is very unique writer and Lucy is the first book I've read of her's. Her behavior through out the book made me mad because she blamed others for the way she is(she thanked her mom for [Lucy] becoming a slut). At the end of the book, she finally admits to herself...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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