In autumn 1943, the unnamed narrator becomes friends with Holly Golightly, who calls him “Fred”, after her older brother. The two are both tenants in a brownstone apartment in Manhattan‘s Upper East Side. Holly (age 18-19) is a country girl turned New York café society girl. As such, she has no job and lives by socializing with wealthy men, who take her to clubs and restaurants, and give her money and expensive presents; she hopes to marry one of them. According to Capote, Golightly is not a prostitute but an “American geisha.”
Holly likes to stun people with carefully selected tidbits from her personal life or her outspoken viewpoints on various topics. Over the next year, she slowly reveals herself to the narrator, who finds himself fascinated by her curious lifestyle. In the end, Holly fears that she will never know what is really hers until after she has thrown it away. Their relationship ends in autumn 1944.