Stories about sexual violence and police corruption do not make for easy reading and the young black woman at the centre of this story is faced with a relentless reality of exploitation. That said, the lush writing, though intense, is never sentimental and Oakland's diverse landscape is vividly brought to life. This novel was inspired by real events, which lends it, I think, an added poignancy.
I apologized to Lacy and took the bus home. The apartment was empty and I changed quickly, texting my small list of men to see who was willing to pay tonight. I tell myself I'll start looking for new job postings tomorrow, that this is what it's gotta be for now, the only way we gonna survive. It ain't that I'm not scared. I am. But I know we'll lose so much more if I don't keep us afloat, that suddenly Trevor won't have nobody to make sure he eats and Marcus won't have a couch to sleep on and I will be closer to my own funeral day than I ever have been.