The first act of Cloud Nine takes place in a British colony in Africa during the Victorian Era. The setting itself explains alot of the confusion that accompanies reading the book. During the Victorian Era women were to be "seen but not heard", and that's exactly how women are portrayed in the book. For instance, Victoria, the main characters daughter, is not even a real person. She is "played" by a doll. Then there's Betty, the main character's wife, who is so damn stomach churning submissive. I know with marriage the wife is supposed to be a little submissive to the husband but not to the point where they are almost robotic to his wishes. The book also deals openly with homosexuality and infidelity. I think this was an excellent choice by the author because both of these are dealt with on an everyday basis. Edward, Victoria's older brother, is a potential homosexual. He is 9 years old when the book begins. At age 9 Edward is being molested by his father's friend. All while this is going on Edward is being played by a woman. Edward's character is so easily understood to be played by a woman since he is feminine and potentially gay. I think this book sums up the things that consists of in an explicit, but realistic manner. It hits on such topics like: adultery, homosexuality, "a woman's place in society", and how experiences and decisions change as time progresses. I feel this is a must read book and definitely a play worth seeing.