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92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2001
A Day Late and A Dollar Short is the type of book that makes you feel so many different things: proud, because you're happy that Terry McMillan is so adept at 'telling it like it is', telling 'our' stories, and making our story everyone else's too; sad, because when you're reading about the problems of these characters, you realize they are so much like your own; and warm, because a book like this helps steer our busy lives back to what's most important in life, such as family.
While reading this novel, I laughed, shook my head, and said 'amen' quite a few times. The writing is simple, very detailed but in a good kind of way, and it feels so 'right now' even though the setting of the story takes place in the mid-90's. Everything about it is appealing, from the wide range of characters (lots of kids, adults, and some seniors), to the moving way the writer takes you inside the lives of these people. By the time you finish reading, you may feel like these people actually exist, and in a way I guess they really do. An excellent and highly recommended read.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2001
I loved it! I loved it! I loved it! I never, ever write reviews about anything, but I received this book as a Christmas gift and I screamed the moment I opened it. From page 1, I was hooked. The characters, the family, the whole concept of lineage, it's here in a nutshell. I loved each character's perspective on life. And you know everyone in this book, if she was your girlfriend in high school or your the hoochie you hated next door! To be honest I wasn't too happy with her last book and being an avid reader I opened the pages hesistantly hoping this wasn't written with a movie in mind. I was pleased. Additionally, I haven't been reading much fiction since I had been feeling that the new themes (man stealing, etc.) weren't appealing to me. She's back ya'll and she's in full swing. Thank the Lord, because I had been missing what good fiction was really all about.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2001
Terry McMillan is renowned for her witty yet prolific ways of telling the modern African American love story with its ups and downs. I enjoyed this book immensely because she strayed away from this pattern of writing that has made her so popular. Because she is such a great writer, her readers will follow. This story (as her books in the past have done)is told from many different points of view which makes it strike everyone who reads it. Every reader will be able to relate to the story line of the book. Ms. McMillan totally captivates her audience and draws you into the world of the characters of her book. You will begin to develop feelings for the characters as if they are friends that you have known for years. This takes tremendous talent and Ms. McMillan should be commended, once again. Enjoy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2001
I loved this novel. Although I speak with my parents and sister quite frequently, it made me stop, pick up the phone, call them and tell them that I love them. This book makes you stop and think about those things that are truly important in life. I have read all of Ms. McMillan's novels and this is a much different novel than her others.
This story is about the Price family which consists of 3 daughters, a son, mother and father. Viola Price has spent her life raising her children to be the best they can be. Although each one of her children has their own particular issues, as a mother, she recognizes each ones special talents but more importantly, their special needs. As any mother, she worries about her grown children and hopes the best for them.
The novel opens with Viola in the ICU unit of the hospital after she has suffered an asthma attack. Her thoughts about her family and estranged husband provide the backdrop for the rest of the novel. As she approaches her 55th birthday, she vows not to allow her children to worry her into the grave and also vows to live her life and do the things that make her happy. To that end, she does make some changes in her life.
The story also focuses on her relationship with her children and their relationship with each other. Each child is different, each with his/her own dreams and needs. Lewis, the only boy is intellectually the smartest but is having difficulty finding his way. Paris, the oldest has everything money can by but has a void in her heart. Janelle, the follower, comes to a point where she is called upon to protect herself, stand up for herself and take some measure of control concerning those things which happen in her world. Finally, the most troubled of characters but most like her mother is Charlotte who is struggling to find her own special place within the family.
In the end, Ms. McMillan does an excellant job of making us all realize that we need to take the time and focus on what is really important so that we are not "A Day Late and a Dollar Short". Fantastic novel.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2001
Terry is back and gosh did she meet my expectations!
A Day Late and A Dollar Short (DLDS) is a tale about family secrets, tragedies and triumphs. Go with McMillian to Las Vegas and uncover the story of Viola and Cecil Price and their four adult children. Viola is the matriarch and the central character of the storyline, however the story is told in the first person voice of each of the six main characters. McMillian hits close to home for many with this storyline which provides a very believable and realistic look at families. While the Prices happen to be African American, actually their situations and exploits are colorblind and could easily represent any family.
DLDS touches on issues of sibling rivalry, adultery, unplanned pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, rape, incest, and homosexuality. Dysfunctionality abounds and no matter what the gender of the character or whether the character is a major or minor player they are all flawed for the most part (except for maybe Ms. Loretta).
As I read DLDS I encountered love and hate, joy and sorrow, happiness and anger. There were some LOL scenes, some scenes which made me grit my teeth and other scenes which made me shake my head and say..."uumph, uumph, uumph". DLDS is an excellent book that's well written and includes in-depth character development along with unexpected plot twist and turns. Terry is back and she's on her game! Pick up DLDS today and get to know the Price Family...hey you might even meet some family members along the way or better yet you might come face to face with yourself. ...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2001
All I want to know is when was Terry peeping in my family's window! I recognized every character in the book as someone I know (I won't tell you which one was me). The only one missing was my Cousin "Pookie and Dem". (smile) As usual the book is an easy read in everyday language. You start reading and you're absolutely absorbed into the story. It will make you laugh, scream, throw the book across the room, and cry. This was right on time. And as far as the other review on Terry being prejudice....there are no white men in this story, so what is that fool talking about?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2001
Let me begin with just letting out a breath of fresh air. I'm so glad to know that there is another family that is similiar to mine, in one way or another.
This is clearly her best work yet. I hate we had to wait 3yrs for this novel. Terry gave us the goods on this one. Lets start off with how easy it is to read this book. 400 pages sounds like alot, but you will finish it in no time flat. A very easy page turner. You are always wondering what Vy is going to say next.
The characters are beyond real you can relate with every last one of them. I have even figured out which one I was. I could even tell which character was talking, just by the words they were saying. You can feel each person, and their own personal struggle. The mom (Vy) was the life of the book, but her kids took the show sometimes.
I'm glad to know that in the end we are still family and no one can break that bond. I even got teary eyed on the last 100 pages or so. If anyone says this isn't a good book apparently has never been through the struggles of trying to keep a family together.
This is a must read. If your library doesn't have it, then you must go purchase. It is totally different than anything she has written(and I have read all of them). You will truly enjoy this one. Believe me you will LOL!!!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 11, 2001
Viola price is the matriarch of a fairly typical family. Now that the children are grown and moved away, husband Cecil has left her in search of lost youth. Her only son Lewis is the family scapegoat, always in trouble, not living up to his potential. Paris, the first-born is trying to be the perfect one, while Janelle is trying to devine her place in the world, and Charlotte is just plain mad for being overlooked all these years. As it has been all her mothering life, Viola knows that she doesn't have enough time or energy or money, and heavens knows she can't make her children's lives better. If anything, Viola's plainspokeness has made it even harder for her to reach her children. Each family member is struggling to cope with their own life, and their worries about their mother and her asthma. It is an acute asthma attack that first brings this family back together, and sets in motion the events that shake them out of their comfort zones. Terry McMillan has written an energetic tale of family life. It is a compelling read, very character driven and each character has a distinct voice. It is a tale of the bonds that tie families together and the love that can't fix everything, but can make a life worth living.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon February 21, 2001
I love Terry McMillan! I have read Disappearing Acts, Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. However, A Day Late and a Dollar Short, her new novel, is my favorite! McMillan is known for her great characterization -- the narrators' voices literally come out of the pages! She takes this to the next level with this new novel.
McMillan takes us on a journey in the lives of the Price family. Viola's struggle to keep her four children in order. Of course, they are all adults, but she can't help but worry. There's Paris, a divorcee who is always helping others. There's also Charlotte, the one with the teenage daughter from hell. And who can forget Lewis? He can never stay out of jail. I was introduced to each character as though I was having an actual conversation with them.
I cannot recommend this great novel enough. Terry McMillan is not just a great voice for African American women, but for women in general. I don't think I have to mention the legacy that Waiting to Exhale has left us! It was about time you wrote a new novel, Terry!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2001
I love this book! It was very touching and emotional as well as extremely funny! What can I say Terry you done it again!
Read this book! If you have any un-answered feelings or questions about amember of your family this book my help you understant their dilenma. We are all attached to some of the characters in this book one way or another.
While reading I found myself tearing up and wanting to call all of my family and tell them I love them because one day it might be A Day Late!
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