The book has no overarching story. Instead, each chapter of the book follows the life of one of the 12 characters (mostly black women) as they negotiate the world. Although each character has their own chapter set across a particular time, their lives intertwine in numerous ways – from friends and relatives to chance acquaintances.
Some of the themes explored in the characters lives are feminism, politics, patriarchy, success, relationships and sexuality. Asked about her motivations in writing the work