"Snakes" told from the viewpoint of Bethie in first-person POV and we see the unraveling of a marriage dragging five children along with it. When the story
begins, Bethie is five years old and the story continues until she is fourteen. Snakes are a thematic continuum beginning with rattlesnakes and ending with a harmless black garden snake. The mother goes through some kind of depression and / or general unhappiness with her husband who does not seem to be too involved or he has pressure to earn money and works too many hours. At one point, a housekeeper / babysitter comments that the father probably has mistresses but that never seems to be the case. I think the mother had post-partem after she gave birth to twins giving her five children under the age of ten to take care of virtually by herself.
I liked this story and thought it was put together nicely in terms of plot, character development and suspense. Kincaid did a delicate and deft job of showing the trouble in the marriage through the eyes of a five, ten, and fourteen year old girl, the narrator.
"Snakes" is the first story in Kincaid's collection, Pretending the Bed is a Raft.
about Pretending the Bed is a Raft