Something About Terry McMillan's Getting To Happy
Savannah, Bernadine, Robin, and Gloria have made their comeback. I suppose that the author, Terry McMillan, had grown tired of these gals after having such a huge success with Waiting to Exhale the book and the movie. After-all, "waiting to exhale" is a tag line now when folks are attempting to share that they are attempting to push through trials in their lives and move on.
For the Black community, the accomplishments of Waiting to Exhale were like Christmas morning. We ate the book up, and when the movie was released it was like an ode to womanhood. We called our sisters, nieces, moms, girlfriends, read - and saw - the movie together. So, what a nice feeling to be reintroduced to the circle of life via Phoenix and how the completion of the tale oozed from Ms. McMillan's mind.
The intro was comfortable, like an old blanket from college. I read along quite unmoved, shaken but not stirred, until we received quite a shocker involving Gloria. Sobbing uncontrollably for quite a few pages, I was thereby hooked and read voraciously until I was done.
Some of these ladies annoyed me in the first book and well, I was slightly still annoyed with them in this one, however, Ms. McMillan does such a great job with voice and dialogue, that maybe feeling strongly about the characters is the point.
I really would have been happy simply reading all about Gloria. Her story was the most intriguing to me. Her gentle spirit and relationship with her son carried this book in a way that I would have been quite settled leaving the other gals out.
It was also nice that we were able to look into a variety of male characters, delving into more personality issues this time around. There are a lot of stereotypical responses in the Black community that I somehow wish we could learn to do without. Ms. McMillan achieves that wish of mine in Getting to Happy. She allows us to see her characters shift and change and realize that "happy" ebbs and flows without race being the cause.
The children are also to be noted because there was just enough drama but it was not overdone.
I would have like to have had more scenery and less dialog because coming from a metropolis, I was having a hard time envisioning Phoenix, but overall this was a nice read.
"Joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5) is what many of us in the Black community often verbalize when we intend to signal hope and endurance and this was a taste of just that.