Ashley Ford has looked up to her father for as long as she can remember. Though she has vague memories of him, she feels as if he’s the only one who would understand and relate to her. Ashley longs for the day they reconnect. The problem is that he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know why.
Life without her father has affected her family tremendously. Her mother deals with feelings of betrayal and grief, at times taking her frustration out on her daughter and straining their relationship. Ford begins to question her mom’s relationship with men and the meaning behind them while watching her struggle to make ends meet.
The author poignantly shares her experience and her vulnerability as a young Black girl from Indiana living in poverty, developing into womanhood, and discovering the truth behind her father’s incarceration while on a quest to understand unconditional love.
“I still wasn’t sure if I was loved unconditionally by the people who were supposedly obliged to do so. Because I could not understand it, I could not believe it. And so, I continued to accept their love for as long as they would have me.”