Getting To Happy: The Sequel to Waiting to Exhale

BlogHer Review

Fifteen years later Terry McMillan brings back her four beloved characters from Waiting to Exhale in Getting to Happy. Now, they’re all women in their 50’s and dealing with a new set of struggles. Savannah has found herself married to a man she once loved but is now bored with and cannot tolerate his addiction to porn and that fact that he’s a Republican. Bernadine had thought she’d found happiness only to realize she had no idea who she married. She had been conned on the worst level and chose to deal with the pain with pills. Gloria, the happy one, is handed a tragedy no woman should have to endure, and Robin has devoted the last 15 years of her life to her daughter and forgot about her own happiness.

At times the story dragged. The topics that the character’s struggled with were timely, but not approached with any kind of challenge or controversy. They were apologized for, fluffed and brushed over. Particularly a parent dealing with discovering their child is homosexual. Those topics could have really been attacked in a way that would have made the book so much more rich and interesting. The main focus, at all times was on the four main characters. McMillan did a great job at building upon the characters she had created in Waiting to Exhale, but she left the surrounding story flat and lifeless at times.

For me, it was perfect timing to read this novel. I’m now at an age where I can relate to many of their struggles, and have myself dealt with betrayal, loss of loved ones, and divorce. McMillan did a great job in bringing out the pain that these women suffered in dealing with their various tragedies, and she demonstrated the value of good strong friendships in getting a person through their life struggles and getting to happy. It felt good seeing these women overcome their struggles and to begin to learn to forgive the past in order to accept the present.

Getting to Happy isn’t the best book I’ve ever read. It didn’t grab me the way Waiting to Exhale did, it won’t stick with me further on down the road like some books do, but I will say it had it’s priceless moments, when I shed a tear, or laughed out loud. It’s a good book for an escape. One I would take to the beach for an afternoon read.

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