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by J.M. Coetzee

Lucy Lurie Timeline and Summary

  • Lucy welcomes David into her home and helps him get familiar with his surroundings.
  • When David starts talking about why he's there (his affair with Melanie and subsequent loss of job), Lucy lets him know she already got the scoop from Rosalind.
  • Lucy goes for a walk with David and some of her dogs and they talk about his scandal. Lucy gives David some advice on women.
  • On the first Saturday that David spends with Lucy, she makes him wake up early and go work at the market with her. While they're there, Lucy introduces David to the locals.
  • Lucy tells David she can tell that he wanted her to do something more important with her life and that he's obviously concerned with how her lifestyle reflects on him.
  • Lucy gives David a laundry list of things he can do while he's staying with her – taking care of the dogs, helping Petrus, and assisting Bev at the clinic.
  • One day when Lucy and David are out for a walk, they see two men and a boy. They don't think too much of it until they get home and see them there. Lucy lets one of the men into the house, but then the other runs in behind her and locks the door. It's pretty certain at this point they are going to rape her.
  • Afterwards, Lucy says she'll get help from Ettinger, but tells David to only tell anyone, including the police, exactly what happened to him – she'll take care of her own story.
  • At first, Lucy seems really strong and secure. Slowly, it becomes more apparent that she's breaking apart inside. When we see her she's either crying or withdrawn into herself.
  • When the policemen arrive at the house to start their investigation, Lucy tells them everything that happened but leaves out the fact that she was raped. When David confronts her about it later, she tells him that what she told them was the whole story.
  • Lucy tells David that if it were another time or place, she would have told the police everything, but at this time in South Africa she can't make it anyone else's problem but hers.
  • Lucy spends a lot of time in her own world. She stops going to the market. She doesn't eat or sleep. She just sort of zones out and hangs around the house. When David tries to talk to her, she gets snippy.
  • On the day of Petrus's party, Lucy gets all gussied up and persuades David go with her. At the party, Lucy gives Petrus and his wife a bedspread. Petrus makes a crack about how Lucy is "as good as a boy," which embarrasses her.
  • Lucy begs David to leave the party because she has spotted the boy who was part of the attack on her home. She pleads with David not to make a big deal about it (like that's going to happen).
  • When David tries to call the police, Lucy stops him because she doesn't want to ruin everything for Petrus and his family. David tells her she's making a mistake. She gets upset.
  • When David gets a call from the police saying there are developments in the case, Lucy goes with him to pick up the car. When it turns out to be a mistake, Lucy is devastated.
  • Lucy finally opens up about what happened, telling David how she felt like the intruders truly hated her. She is convinced they'll come back for her. Lucy starts explaining her views on men and sex.
  • Lucy writes David a letter telling him that she has to stay where she is, and that it's clear that he doesn't really understand her or where she's coming from.
  • When David calls Lucy from Cape Town, Lucy tells him that things are fine, but things don't seem fine.
  • David comes back, and Lucy reveals to him that she's pregnant. She says she can't deal with having an abortion and hints that she's had one in the past.
  • Lucy tells David that she's considering marrying Petrus, more as a business deal and a way of protecting herself and her interests than anything else.
  • Lucy finds David beating the smack out of Pollux. She breaks up the fight and tells David that he can deal with one or the other of them but not both.
  • David asks Lucy if she loves her unborn baby. She says she doesn't but she will love it some day.
  • At the end of the novel it seems that David and Lucy might be able to patch up their relationship, though it is still distant.