Kehinde Fadipe discussed her debut novel, The Sun Sets in Singapore, on the Today show with hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager and members of the Completely Booked book club.

Hager selected Fadipe’s book, about three expatriate women living in Singapore, for her popular book club earlier this month. The novel was published last month by Grand Central; a critic for Kirkus called it “a lovely exploration of the phase of self-discovery between early adulthood and middle age.”

Hager asked Fadipe about the origins of the novel.

“I started writing it about six or seven years ago,” Fadipe replied. “I originally wrote something that was a little heavier, a little bit darker. I’d just had my son, so I really didn’t want to go back into a heavy space when I was editing the book. I just decided to write something a little bit lighter that was capturing the different types of people I was meeting in Singapore.”

One book club member asked Fadipe why she chose to write about Black women “from a different lens.”

“I wrote for women as I met them, as I saw them,” Fadipe said. “I didn’t think, Oh, I want to try to portray them a different way. I just tried as much as I could to capture their energy.… As many different types of Black women as there are, there should be many different types of characters.”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.