Through the central characters of Elizete and Verlia, the book explores issues of poverty, cultural displacement and the human need for love and acceptance. More epic poem than novel: read it for the language rather than the plot. The writing is sensuous and very beautiful in places. The subject matter is harsh, but the approach is lyrical. This fusion creates an explosive combination.
If she could not go with this woman, whose speed she loved, who was all liquid, whom she took and agreed was her grace, her way of leaping into another life, then she could not live in any way worthwhile. Walking behind her down the little hill she watched the crease of sweat down Verlita's back. She wanted to lick it, she wanted to kiss her neck. She wanted rain to hem them in their room, make the floor damp so they would have to climb into the bed under the window and sleep, sleep until it was over.