Getting to Happy: Reuiniting With Old Friends
I distinctly remember feeling wistful when I finished reading Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan. As an avid reader, I've come to realize that many of my favorite books are those that let me follow a story from multiple characters' points of view -- I love to get that peek into the key players' heads. Often, I'm disappointed when such a book ends and I no longer have the pleasure of being a part of the lives of those characters that I've grown to know and love.
It had been a long time since I'd read Waiting to Exhale. I was excited to read McMillan's sequel, Getting to Happy, and admittedly a bit apprehensive. Would I still feel the kinship to Bernadine, Robin, Gloria and Savannah that I had felt years ago? Would the characters still resonate with me? I was in a different place in my life back then, and so were the women around whom the books revolve.
Two pages in and I realized my worries were unfounded. McMillan's dialogue and true-to-life plotline brought the women back to me as if I'd never left them... I was among friends. We’re all older, wiser, and have more life experience under our belts, but as it is with the lasting friendships in my own life, though some time may go by without connecting, we still pick right up again without missing a beat.
To me, the mark of an excellent writer is the ability to really nail the different voices, keeping them each distinct, while eminently relatable. Coupled with the engaging and realistic story lines of each main character, I didn’t feel like I was reading a book, so much as I was catching up with four women who had touched my heart years ago. My only real disappointment is that the book had to end. I had that same wistful feeling finishing the book -- only this time, I had to walk away from the girlfriends with whom I felt I had only just reconnected.