When I woke up this morning it was SNOWING. This was terribly disappointing, so I quickly made a cup of coffee, climbed back into bed, finished reading Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid, and then slept for another hour and a half. I read Lucy in two sittings – it’s relatively short and fast-paced.
The story is about a young woman who moves from the West Indies to the US to be a nanny for a family with four young girls. We follow Lucy as she navigates her time in the states. We get flashbacks to her childhood and teenage years, we hear her frustrations with her family (especially her mother), her sexual discoveries, and the intense anger she holds. Lucy did not feel she could remain at home where her mother poured all of her hopes for success into her three brothers, but she also does not quite find her niche in the states, either. She is quite guarded, but as the book moves on she finds new hobbies and an increased independence.
Kincaid’s writing is lovely. The language is great. One of my favorite examples of this is comes toward the end of the book when Lucy is talking with the woman she works for. Kincaid writes, “I suddenly had to stop speaking; my mouth was empty, my tongue had collapsed in my throat. I thought I would turn to stone just then.”
I do agree that this book should be on the books-to-read-in-your-20s list. It’s about all of those things that you feel in your 20s. It’s scary to leave home, you always assume that you will find something better on the other side, processing your past, taking risks. I would recommend this book, for sure!