A Well Deserved Getting To Happy

BlogHer Review

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan is the long awaited sequel to her popular book Waiting to Exhale.

We enter the four friends lives again, fifteen years later.

And like us, they too have grown and matured. They are at a different phase in life - oh yes - those wonderful years referred to as “middle age”.

Robin - successful at work, teenage daughter, no husband - never had one, and still looking for love.

Bernadine - two grown children, married twice - jilted twice, dealing with a slight addiction

Savannah - no kids, loves her work, marriage falling apart

Gloria - once happily married - now picking up the pieces, mother, grandmother

It’s funny how our paths in life can change so suddenly, and without warning.

Younger people can deal with life’s ups and downs more easily (they might not think so) because they have the advantage of time on their side.

But when life throws a curve ball in your fifties -- it can be devastating. You feel old, you’re planning for retirement -- and starting over requires a motivation and inner strength that is so hard to find.

Ultimately, making it through these difficult times is up to you, but the power of friendship can carry you when you feel like you can’t go on.

This book beautifully portrays the challenges these women face and the support that they receive from each other.

The magic here is that the obstacles are somewhat ordinary - problems and stressors that people in their forties and fifties face everyday.

How can you move on after the death of a loved one? What do you do when you find out your child is gay or going through a divorce? How easy is it to turn to a little pill for support when just waking up in the morning and facing the day is unbearable? And what about work -- what if that reliable job turns out not to be so stable? Oh -- and what if that reliable husband turns out to not be so stable, either?

These issues and more are what the characters are dealing with and are just a sample of what people in the real world deal with daily.

In the end the author leaves us with the feeling that these ladies will be alright. They have taken the right paths and they are indeed “getting to happy”.

We cheer for them. And we are left with hope -- not for the characters in the book -- but for ourselves. Hope that we will make it through these difficult and unglamorous years relatively unscathed. And hope that we will be able to deal with whatever life throws at us - somehow, just like tight group of friends.

Maybe Terry McMillan will let us check in with them in another fifteen years.

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