The central figure of this novel is a teenage girl from the West Indies working as an au pair for an American family. Her name is Lucy, and as the story opens, she describes her first day on the job, her surroundings, and the ambivalence of being away from home. Faced with a different cultural backdrop and elements of time, Lucy is able to compare, dismiss, and draw her own conclusive ideals based on the premise that the family she's working for are not perfect as originally thought. As she matures, and her life focuses on the realistic ramifications of how things really are in this new environment, we began to see a difference in mannerisms and expression.
Jamaica Kincaid, the author, colors this drama with