Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan

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In WAITING TO EXHALE, Terry McMillan chronicled the lives and love affairs of women in their mid-thirties, opening up an entirely new literary field and audience for African-American writers. GETTING TO HAPPY, her exuberant and engaging "sequel," revisits the same four spirited women - Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin - now catapulted into midlife.Fifteen years later, her heroines are as sassy, vivid, and smart-mouthed as ever. As a broadcast investigative journalist, Savannah takes pride in her work exposing secrets and scandals - but she never expected to uncover one in her own home that would bring her already diminishing marriage to an explosive end. Bernie has had man problems that put her past challenges in the shade - these days, she finds herself popping pills and forgetting details that she might do well to recall. Robin's high-rolling life as a serial shopper runs into trouble when she loses her job to a merger, and she's hardly faring any better in the world of online dating. Gloria still runs the bustling Oasis salon, but back-to-back family tragedies hit her hard. All four face tough questions about love and loss, but they keep faith in themselves and each other as their lives fall apart and reconfigure. A particular reward of this novel is the cast of younger characters - Bernadine's now-college-age Onika; Robin's daughter Sparrow; and Gloria's son Tariq, married and with young children (and problems) of his own.McMillan's pitch-perfect prose draws us into the deeply affecting stories of these women, highlighting the humor and joy that carry them through their struggles. Although girlfriend time may have eroded somewhat under life's pressures, four-way calls and movie night get-togethers continue to reaffirm the importance of friendship not only to getting by but to chasing that perennial goal - getting to happy.

About Terry McMillan

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Terry McMillan’s debut, Mama, won the Doubleday New Voices in Fiction and American Book awards. McMillan has been honored by the NEA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NAACP, and Essence. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit
Published September 7, 2010 by Signet. 398 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Getting to Happy

Star Tribune

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McMillan's sequel to "Waiting to Exhale" is hardly happy, as her heroines, 10 years later, battle loneliness and loss.

Sep 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Getting to Happy

Tampa Bay Times

Terry McMillan's new novel, Getting to Happy, is a sequel to her 1992 blockbuster Waiting to Exhale that resumes the story of a group of black women friends some 15 years later.

Sep 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Getting to Happy


In Terry McMillan's book, Getting to Happy, we are there for the women from Waiting to Exhale : Savannah, Robin, Gloria, and Bernadine's bumpy travels towards the hope of happiness.

Jun 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Getting to Happy

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