This novel is set in present day Chicago. The protagonist is a middle-aged black man, Ashanti Ra, who, because he is on the run from the law accused of a crime he did not commit, is forced to live with a young Puerto Rican gay man, Phillip a.k.a. Phyllis, whom he met at a Latin bar a couple of days earlier. He was at the bar because he had just had an argument with his white girlfriend of several years. She wanted to get married; he did not.
The story concerns Ashantiís slow realization that, although he himself is not gay, he does care for Phyllis, and eventually accepts Phyllis as a lover.
The theme of the book is that things in life happen, often with no explanation or apparent reason, and the story is laced with philosophical and religious musings.
There is a subplot obliquely told in alternate chapters of Ashantiís sexual abuse as a boy by an older male cousin. Much of the protagonistís childhood characterization is revealed in these chapters.
This novel is for adults only, as some scenes depict explicit sex.
Ppaerback: 165 pages