In the book, Powell remembers the layout of the house at which she worked, which was located in Adelaide Crescent in the English seaside resort of Hove. The servants' hall often served as a dining area for the workers. "The front of the basement, with iron bars all down the bay windows, was the servants' hall," she writes. "When you were sitting in there all you saw going by was people's legs, and when you were on the other side of the basement hall ... you saw nothing at all. It had one tiny window high up in the wall which you couldn't see through unless you got a ladder. The light had to be on all day long."