top of page
  • Writer's pictureEvangeline Lawson

Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid


"On their way to freedom, some people find riches, some people find death. But I did not succeed." (Lucy, by Jamaica Kincaid)

Lucy is a nanny, who although denies such, is very complicated, conflicted even. Jamaica Kincaid illustrates this with her exploration of contrasting metaphors, in order to make us feel the familiar as opposed to unfamiliar. As a young adult grappling with relationships, Lucy asked "aren't family the ones that become the millstone around your neck?" And this becomes the thread in her narrative. Especially when discussing her mother. She does not hide her disdain or disrespect, which is often in contrast of the way she speaks (especially with the audible narrator reading so eloquently). But as the story progresses you can't help but wonder if Lucy in fact hated her mother or loved her deeply.

What I appreciated about this book, was that in such a brief listen (at just under 5 hours), you can see the complexity that lies within most people, as painted by Jamaica Kincaid in all of the descriptions of each character. But Lucy's depth is expressed uniquely in her dialogue.

Lucy asks questions, deep and meaningful ones like "how can you be the victor and the vanquished also?" Even if she only asks them in her head. But when Lucy speaks she does not bite her tongue. She is direct and far from intimidated, regardless of her position. It makes the story both engaging and intriguing, but in ways a bit voyeuristic as you hear this young woman explore her intimate relationships, familial and romantic alike while she comes to terms with her personal identity.

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page