Toni Morrison writes about a group of African Americans who found a community in Oklahoma called Ruby. When the outside world threatens the peace of the community, five women whose lives are particularly troubled take refuge in an abandoned convent, which alienates the men of the town. In this novel, which pits men against women and presents women as victims, the result is violence--but not despair. In the end, Morrison remains hopeful. A "New York Times" Notable Book for 1998.