Study Guide

Lucy: A Novel Chapter 5: Lucy

By Jamaica Kincaid

Chapter 5: Lucy

  • It's now January again, Lucy tells us. She also tells us that she's "making a new beginning" (5.1).
  • Before we can find out what that means, we're treated to a little history lesson. Lucy gives us some information about the small island where she grew up.
  • Back to the present. So the major news is that Lucy has left her job babysitting for Mariah and Lewis.
  • Lucy takes us back a few steps to fill us in on how she came to the decision to quit her job. She also describes Mariah's pretty peeved reaction to her decision.
  • Now Lucy is living in a new apartment with Peggy. She tells us all about her new digs.
  • Lucy mentions to us that in her desk are her personal documents, which leads her to tell us more about the origin of her name and a funny story about her mom and a pregnant dog.
  • As Peggy sleeps, Lucy shuffles around her new apartment. She gazes out the window.
  • Peggy joins her at the window. Lucy's new roomie is pretty rank, not having taken a bath or brushed her teeth. Oh man. What has Lucy gotten herself into?
  • Lucy recalls that Paul had stopped by earlier that night to check out the new apartment and take the two of them to dinner. It seems like the bloom is off the rose in this relationship. Lucy is getting sick of his possessive attitude.
  • But she still lets him stay overnight with her in her bed.
  • Good news: Lucy's got a new job working as a secretary for Paul's photographer friend. She's a little turned off by her overly chummy boss, Timothy Simon, who wants her to address him as Tim.
  • She's okay at her job, though she's not the world's greatest typist. And she's becoming addicted to coffee.
  • One of the perks of her job is that Mr. Simon lets her develop film in his darkroom.
  • Bad news. Lucy feels pretty lonely.
  • Even though she recently hung out with Mariah, who is eager to be buddies with her, she doesn't think she'll see her again.
  • Lucy suspects that Paul is cheating on her with Peggy. Is she crazy mad about this? Hardly. She couldn't care less.
  • After doing a few chores, Lucy climbs into bed and opens up a blank notebook that Mariah had given her. She writes her name.
  • Then she writes a sentence that moves her to tears and "caused all the words to become one great big blur" (5.36).

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