Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
By Jamaica Kincaid
Lucy is a Caribbean girl who travels to an unnamed North American city to work as an au pair for a very wealthy family. The story is set in the late '60s, when so many changes were happening and women were going through a very liberating time. Lucy is trying to find a home in this foreign society and also find her purpose.
Why she chose it:
My heritage is Caribbean, and I'd never read anything that really breaks down Caribbean culture politically, historically, socially, and in terms of gender. Lucy did that—it called out to me, to the kind of life I had and the kind of person I am. One thing I love about the book is how painfully honest Kincaid is about Lucy's issues with her mother. Lucy is fueled by pride and rebellion and pain, but the emotions guiding her at first aren't the ones driving her at the end of the story. She realizes she needs to make peace with the fact that no matter how far she might go in the world, she will never stop being her mother's daughter.
"This story has one of the most amazing endings. I cried for three days after I read it."
We Hear You!