Getting to Happy: Finding Happiness Admist Chaos

BlogHer Review

The road to happy may not be an easy one, in fact they are lots of twists and bumps along the way. Sometimes it is those twists that make us realize what is really important in our lives. In Terry McMillan's book, Getting to Happy, we are there for the women from Waiting to Exhale : Savannah, Robin, Gloria, and Bernadine's bumpy travels towards the hope of happiness. We enter their lives 15 years after "Waiting to Exhale" took place (the women are in their 50s at this point). All of the women had an expectation to be happy in their lives, sadly most of them are not.

At the beginning of the book, everyone except Gloria is unhappy. Robin is a single mother without time to date, Savannah is beginning a divorce, and Bernadine is still reeling from her second divorce from a con-man. All of them have their vices to cope with their feelings of depression: food, pills and shopping. When Gloria experiences tragedy and begins to spiral downward the women are forced to look at themselves and each other in a different light. The book takes many twists and turns and the women end up in different places than you think they might, however they all find their path to happiness in different ways.

There was a lot to enjoy in this novel. I found the writing to make the story fast paced. The heart of the characters was true to who they were in Waiting to Exhale ; their actions sometimes frustrated me (none of the characters seemed to have grown in 15 years, but I don‘t find this a fault in the novel, because let's be honest -- not many people in reality grow that much) but their actions were true to their personalities. I read a lot of complaints about this book in the fact that there is not really a narrative to the story, just a lot of bad things happening to these women. which I don’t agree with. Sure, the first half of the novel feels that way, but the second half is all about the women finding their happiness through all of the complications of life. Terry McMillan’s Getting to Happy is all about the women’s experience of how to be happy. It doesn’t come from riches, a man or any amount of success, it comes from having peace with yourself. I think that is a lesson that we can all agree with, even if it is a hard lesson to follow in our own lives.

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