Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan

This book has been sitting on my shelf forever, waiting for me to exhale and pick it up. I read widely from multiple genres. I never limit myself and I am glad I don’t because you can miss out on discovering great stories or great authors.

The book is set in 1991. It is so strange to think that this book is 25 years old. It feels more recent but one thing that immediately stood out were the changes in the African American experience and story, even in that 25 years. Don’t be afraid to grab some of the wonderful African American authors out there. You might find you have more in common than not.

The four women in this story are all in their 30’s or a little older and all are experiencing what many people experience at that point in their lives. One is going through a divorce; one is trying to figure out why she doesn’t like the nice guys and is attracted to the bad boys; one is moving house, changing jobs and trying to find Mr. Right; and one is a single mother, business owner and activist looking ahead.

They are friends who support one another in their life changing moves and frankly, they were there talking about sex, shoes, hair, men and life way before Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and the other one from Sex and the City. It makes me wonder if this was the blueprint. Ms. McMillan, I think HBO owes you!

While there are certain things that speak directly to the African American experience, anyone who has had any of the life experiences above will be able to relate. If you grew up working class, these are the women who went to college and moved up the economic rungs on the ladder. You will either recognize them, or you are them. It is a great book about, by and for women but men could learn a thing or two by reading it.

I liked the book so much that I ended up staying up till 4:30 am so I could finish the book in one day. Damn your eyes, Terry McMillan!! The characters are great fun and although there are times you want to kick a characters shins ( I am looking at you Robin and Savannah!) they still keep you turning the pages in hope.

I had a great time. The only thing that the author may regret in hindsight is describing one of the male characters as modeling himself on Dr. Cliff Huxtable. Who am I to judge? I loved Bill Cosby from I, Spy to The Cosby Show until he let me down. And now I want to watch the movie just to see Leon (who I adored in Oz) and Angela Bassett who I adore in everything. Now I have to go get the rest of the books written by Terry McMillan. And I would like to know how the author views life and love 25 years later. An author discussion Waiting to Exhale: 25 years later is dying to go on tour! I just know it.

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