Getting to Happy: Beyond 'Happy Ever After'

BlogHer Review

When most stories end with "...and they lived happy ever after." Terry McMillan in Getting to Happy starts hers with the realities beyond this point. This is what happens when Prince Charming isn't all that. Or, when your Prince turns out to be a toad.

McMillan weaves her story around 4 women (Savannah, Robin, Gloria and Bernardine) who are at crossroads in their respective lives. It is a story of loss, survival, facing one's demons, and finding the will to move on beyond what life serves you. It's about making painful choices and life-changing mistakes when the 'ever after' isn't necessarily happy. It is about deciding to make changes and hoping to best outcomes.

The reader goes through a lot of emotions while reading the book. I felt all the emotions the characters were feeling -- surprise, shock, pain after a sudden loss. Most importantly, I found myself silently cheering the characters on and wishing them luck as they continued on with their journey.

McMillan also gives the reader hope, and shows the value of having family and a circle of girlfriends who can help you go through life's difficulties. Women you laugh with, cry with or just plain, be with. With these friendships one can be oneself, without fear of being judged or measured. Friends who will call you out on your shortcomings because they care.

It is about moving on to the next chapter(s) of your life without being weighed down by the past chapters. It is about letting go so that you can grab life with both hands.

The book is also about the journey people take to define and ultimately find our happiness. Thank God for girlfriends!

And, I have to say 50 is the new 30!

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