Linda's friendship with the first Mrs. Bruce, an Englishwoman who abhors slavery, enables her to make the difficult adjustment to her new life in New York. Through her role as nurse to Mrs. Bruce's daughter, Mary, Linda begins to trust again and experiences a new kind of relationship with a white woman who, like herself, values her role as a mother and finds her freedom limited because of her gender.
Mrs. Bruce is also indirectly responsible for expanding Linda's horizons. After Mrs. Bruce's death, Linda travels to England with Mr. Bruce serving as Mary's nurse. This trip enables Linda to see the differences between the lifestyles of England's poor, who are rich in terms of friends and family, and America's slaves, who are denied even the right to maintain their families and care for their children.