What was Kit Tyler's life like before she stayed with her Aunt Rachel?
Kit's life was very pampered. She considered it "civilized," but John Holbrook thinks it was "heathen," and this distinction is important to her character development. For her "civilized" included wearing pretty dresses and having slaves do all the work, and the lack of "civilized" living in New England means having to do the work that slaves would do in Barbados and not being able to wear those pretty dresses. John consider her island home "heathen" because it condoned slavery and valued pleasure more than God--Kit read for the joy of it, not to learn a moral lesson. With Aunt Rachel, Kit learns how to do domestic chores, and through this she becomes a better person, eventually realizing the wrongness of slavery.
Kit was orphaned and went to live with her grandfather in Barbados. Kit lived a wonderful, carefree life of wealth and love.
Barbados is very different from Connecticut, and Kit will have quite a change in having to live with the strictness of the Puritan lifestyle. There is also a vast difference in the type of climate she lives in. Barbados was a tropical island, filled with wealthy inhabitants, and Kit enjoyed a relative freedom to be herself.
Connecticut is a much colder climate, and the people there do not find wealth to be something a Christian cares about. Their lives are very centered on prayer and work.
Kit's life was completely different before she came to the New World.