"Getting to Happy" by Terry McMillan
When we first met Bernadine, Savannah, Gloria and Robin in Waiting to Exhale, the ladies were in their 30's and looking for Mr. Right. Strong and independent, the ladies were a close-knit foursome, navigating relationships and the professional world, each looking for that one good man who would allow them to exhale. When we left them, two had found love but otherwise we were left hanging as to how they fared.
In Getting To Happy we now get to find out. Fifteen years later the women are all at a midlife crossroads. Savannah has married but decided at the age of fifty-one to face being single again. Bernadine has been swindled by her second husband and turns to pills to help her cope. Robin still hasn't realized her dream of wearing a wedding dress and uses shopping to fill the void. And Gloria has learned that one moment can change everything forever. But one thing remains the same - the women are still fantastic women and fierce friends.
What a pleasure it was to revisit these women. Terry McMillan hadn't planned to write about these women again but I am glad she did. Ms. McMillan's writing has a warmth and humour to it that you feel as though you are catching up with old friends through the entire book. The reader will be taken on an emotional journey with these women - laughing, smiling, crying and getting angry. And through it all you will cheer for these women and hope once again that happiness will be attained.
What is fantastic about these characters is that they are real. When they are dealing with the tough times, they deal with it the way any real woman would. Ms. McMillan has created believable characters, right down to the small details of their lives. These are women that we know and love in our own lives (or we ourselves may be) and that is why we love Bernadine, Gloria, Savannah and Robin so much.
If you were a fan of Waiting to Exhale you will want to pick up this book right away. If you haven't read it, pick up both books. Getting To Happy can stand on it's own, but you'll want to get to know these women as best you can.