Getting to Happy Worked for Me

BlogHer Review

Confession: I never read Waiting to Exhale , but when I was offered a copy of the sequel, Getting to Happy, to review, I didn’t hesitate. In fact, I had never even read anything by Terry McMillan before (despite the fact that she once lived about 30 miles from my hometown, and was a PRETTY big deal in the thumb of Michigan).

I wasn’t sure if starting out with no background on these four friends we are catching up on over a decade after Waiting to Exhale would be a bad thing or not, but in the end I decided not to taint my reading by learning anything ahead of time, and I think that was a great decision.

In fact, one of the things I appreciated the most about this book was that, as a reader, you absolutely do not require any background on these characters. If you were a fan of the ladies before, I assume it will be fun catching up with their lives, like re-visiting old friends, but for a newcomer, like myself, it was easy to fall into their lives and feel like I had been friends with them myself for years.

I know phrases like “visiting old friends” and “catching up on their lives” might sound hokey to some readers, but that is the best way to describe the tone of this book. To toss another hokey and perhaps frowned-upon phrase out there, this was an “easy read.” I never know how to say that and sound like I am not dissing the author. I absolutely loved McMillian’s style of prose -– the genuine language, the ease of description, the way she weaved information into the story without making it feel laborious or contrived –- that is an easy read to me, and I love them. Sure, it’s worthwhile to read Anna Karenina and Ulysses, but it is not less worthwhile to read a book you can finish in a snap, especially when you enjoy it as much as I did.

Yes, there were a few times when the plot was forced by the ladies saying things like “We need to get happy!” and “Sisterhood is important!” but those moments were short-lived, and the rest of the plot kept you wanting to turn the page, and certainly made up for those few-and-far-between moments.

I grew attached to these ladies, and not only do I plan on reading Waiting to Exhale , but I will be one of the many readers who eagerly anticipate another peek into the lives of Savannah, Robin, Gloria, and Bernadine.

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