At 14, Gayle's Mama puts a stop to her second pregnancy by dragging Gayle to an abortion clinic, then sending her and her baby Jose "down Souf" to stay with her preacher uncle, Luther, his wife, and their 16-year old daughter Constance, aka "Cookie." Never mind nookie with Troy, her latest beau -- what Gayle misses most from New York are her girlfriends, or "sisters." Against all odds, and despite Gayle's attitude, Gayle finds a place for herself and a family among her "saved" and gospel-loving relations, and she and Cookie both find surprising ways to need and save each other. Strongly recommended.
* Dialogue of an explicit sexual nature is present, though no scenes, and the novel works to discourage teen sexuality.