Dominique- Louisiana’s most devastating natural disaster tore Dominique from her loved ones. She moved to California to escape the memories and forget the pain. With top-notch looks and a keen business sense, she has all the tools to get what she wants out of life. But the loss she suffered might have crippled her from seeking the one thing she needs most, love.
Angela- A single mother of two young boys, Angela’s overwhelmed with responsibilities. After divorcing a husband who chose the streets over his family, she’s ready to experience life in new ways. When she meets Prince, she sees the opportunity to test her fresh independence. When emotions get involved, will she settle for the fling and move on, independence intact, or allow herself to depend on others for once.
Nyla- Young and strong, yet tender of heart, Nyla jumped into adulthood with both feet. She’s driven by passion and courage, while still hindered by innocence and fear. All men have an agenda. They want the same thing. She quit them all until she met Prince. She didn’t know what he had going on. Something so uncommon can’t be safe. Can she see herself diving into something so bizarre, or has her experiences already left her too jaded to explore the unknown?
Prince- All his life girls thought his friendship was too valuable to risk losing by having sex with him. Tired of being stuck in the friend zone, he thought leaving Mr. Nice Guy behind would be the answer to all his problems. But after meeting Dominique… and Angela… and Nyla, his idea of who he’s supposed to be changes. What he comes to find will challenge our expectations, question the rules of love, and redefine the cliché of Happily Ever After…
A young man, Igor, adopts as his mother a middle aged woman, Sylvia, after meeting her in a café, each having come from the nearby cemetery. He had been visiting his mother’s grave; she, her son’s. In taking it upon himself to investigate the death of Sylvia’s son, Igor soon finds himself confronting racists. Sylvia is black; Igor is white. The deeper he delves, the more intricately embroiled he becomes and the more he becomes the focus of a police investigation himself.
Alongside the surface interplay of the characters, Igor remains preoccupied with an inquiry into the nature of existence. Within the field of human activity, notions of ‘good and bad’ and ‘pleasure and pain’ are perhaps bound to prevail, but the essence of existence must precede such differentiation. The presence of suffering in the world should not be taken as proof that the world cannot be perfect. A photograph consisting only of black or only of white would probably seem pretty boring. A world consisting only of good or only of bad would perhaps be comparable to such a photograph. Each extreme acquires its significance by being in juxtaposition with its opposite. Happiness does not result from the elimination of suffering; rather, happiness may ensue when the realm of pleasure and pain has been transcended.
One aspect of the title, Black & White, relates to issues of race. Another aspect relates to Igor’s ability in violent situations to interpret matters in black and white terms. However, it is as a general phrase covering all dualities that the title derives its primary import. The use of the ampersand character in the title imitates its usage by photographers when referring to ‘black & white’ images, and is intended to denote a synthesis of the individual terms into a unitary whole.
The book includes some brief passages depicting scenes of polyamorous sex (pleasure) and homicidal violence (pain).