This novel is set during the 1970s in an all black town in Oklahoma, originally founded by former slaves. Nearby is a "convent", a former school now inhabited by damaged women who have sought refuge and healing there. The outside world is infringing on these communities. The town is patriarchial, strict and colour-coded and the men, threatened by the nearby community of women, strike out violently against it. Morrison's ideas are interesting, but she did not succeed in pulling it off.