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Getting to Happy

A book by Terry McMillan

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"Sometimes we have to reinvent ourselves."

  • Sep 7, 2010
Rating:
+4
Revisiting the ladies from Waiting to Exhale after fifteen years, McMillan explores the necessity of turning lemons into lemonade. Much has changed in the lives of the four Phoenix friends, Robin, Savannah, Gloria and Bernadine, marriages and romances run aground, careers in limbo, children grown and on their own. Although the women are as close as ever, each freely acknowledges that life has intruded, their meetings less frequent, the ups and downs of daily demands taking a toll. Now each of the friends is faced with a problem, some more devastating than others, challenged to reinvent themselves to survive the coming years. It is how these four work through their issues that so defines this particular group of friends, the energy, humor, loyalty and courage that it takes to face the world at fifty, with or without a man.

One by one, we are reintroduced to these fabulous, flawed creatures, from the still-beautiful but unattached Robin to the frustrated Savannah to a now bitter Bernadine and the ever-lovable Gloria. While near-grown children inspire both pride and awe, the demands of extended family and ex-husbands can get on anyone's last nerve. McMillan is on intimate terms with these characters, their fears, frustrations and reactions to the inevitable challenges they face. With her customary compassion for the plight of these larger-than-life women, married or single, this is a story that rings with authenticity. Life comes in all sizes and shapes, delivering joy and sorrow with equal abandon and these friends are spared none of the experiences that come with time. Once again, it is their love for one another that proves the most healing balm in any situation.

While these Phoenix residents have for the most part landed on their feet in troubled economic times, finances are irrelevant when the world weighs heavy on their shoulders. None has escaped unscathed the random cruelties of fate, but McMillan works her magic in the territory of the human spirit, the language of love and forgiveness a powerful remedy for grief. Reaffirming our belief in the healing power of friendship, from romance to career to the tragedy of Katrina, McMillan's characters are life-sized sisters of the heart. Luan Gaines/2010.

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More Getting to Happy reviews
review by . September 22, 2010
Terry McMillan has again struck gold with her sequel to the blockbuster bestseller/hit movie Waiting To Exhale. The girls are back.....and it's like being reunited with old friends.    Bernie has remarried, and her relationship with her ex-husband John and his new family is extremely amicable. When difficulties confront both Bernadine and John, they realize eventually how much they've been through and how much each values the friendship of the other.    Robyn, …
About the reviewer
Luan Gaines ()
Ranked #86
An artist/writer, I have traveled the world, walked on the moon and learned the complicated language of humanity, the enormity of the universe... all through the written word. My first passport was a … more
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Fifteen years after Waiting to Exhale, McMillan brings back Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin--now in their 50s--for a disappointing and uninspired outing. As the story opens, Gloria is very happy, Savannah believes she might be happy, Bernadine is fighting addiction and losing ground, and single mother Robin is trying to resign herself to being alone while things at her job begin to unravel. Within the first few chapters, Gloria and Savannah are struck by disaster, and things go rapidly downhill from there for everyone. Most of the misery has to do with men who lie, steal, cheat, or disappear, or with adult children who face similar problems. Unfortunately, the beloved cast isn't given a story worthy of them; instead, this reunion reads like a catalogue of personal catastrophes annotated with very long, rambling discussions, with more emphasis on simple drama than character.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0670022047
ISBN-13: 978-0670022045
Author: Terry McMillan
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Viking Adult
First to Review
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