A tragic, complex story of postcolonial Barbadian life following World War II. Oppression still flourishes on Bimshire, an island controlled by "the Plantation." Mary, the kept woman of Mr. Bellfeels, the powerful plantation manager, is not accepted into the island's upper echelon nor accepted among her childhood friends. Her status isolates her from common folk like Sgt. Percy Stuart, her childhood friend. The story begins after Mary has murdered Mr. Bellfeels and Percy must record her all-night confession, an obligation complicated by his lifelong love for Mary.