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Getting to Happy Hardcover – September 7, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Getting to Happy The sequel to WAITING TO EXHALE (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670022047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670022045
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fifteen years after Waiting to Exhale, McMillan brings back Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin--now in their 50s--for a disappointing and uninspired outing. As the story opens, Gloria is very happy, Savannah believes she might be happy, Bernadine is fighting addiction and losing ground, and single mother Robin is trying to resign herself to being alone while things at her job begin to unravel. Within the first few chapters, Gloria and Savannah are struck by disaster, and things go rapidly downhill from there for everyone. Most of the misery has to do with men who lie, steal, cheat, or disappear, or with adult children who face similar problems. Unfortunately, the beloved cast isn't given a story worthy of them; instead, this reunion reads like a catalogue of personal catastrophes annotated with very long, rambling discussions, with more emphasis on simple drama than character.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

For McMillan fans (and they are legion, given the immense popularity of her novels and film adaptations), the publication of Getting to Happy will be welcome news. The novel is full of the juicy romantic entanglements, family dysfunction, and high drama that readers have come to anticipate. The novel is not without its shortcomings; most critics noted the occasional clunky writing and predictable plot line. After all, McMillan's characters are the same as before--older and heavier, perhaps, but not necessarily happier or wiser. Still, the novel is entertaining, escapist fare, and "Getting to Happy is pretty much required reading for anyone who cared about Waiting to Exhale" (Miami Herald).

More About the Author

Terry McMillan fell in love with books as a teenager while working at the local library. She studied journalism at UC Berkeley and screenwriting at Columbia before making her fiction debut with Mama, which one both the Doubleday New Voices in Fiction Award and the American Book Award. She lives in Northern California.

Customer Reviews

This continuation from Waiting to Exhale is a great read.
Yolanda Kirby
Ms McMillan never took the time to develop a story line, instead she jumped from one character to the next, and from one issue to the next.
Alice Christian
Getting to Happy was a disappointment from beginning to end.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Revisiting the ladies from Waiting to Exhale after fifteen years, McMillan explores the necessity of turning lemons into lemonade. Much has changed in the lives of the four Phoenix friends, Robin, Savannah, Gloria and Bernadine, marriages and romances run aground, careers in limbo, children grown and on their own. Although the women are as close as ever, each freely acknowledges that life has intruded, their meetings less frequent, the ups and downs of daily demands taking a toll. Now each of the friends is faced with a problem, some more devastating than others, challenged to reinvent themselves to survive the coming years. It is how these four work through their issues that so defines this particular group of friends, the energy, humor, loyalty and courage that it takes to face the world at fifty, with or without a man.

One by one, we are reintroduced to these fabulous, flawed creatures, from the still-beautiful but unattached Robin to the frustrated Savannah to a now bitter Bernadine and the ever-lovable Gloria. While near-grown children inspire both pride and awe, the demands of extended family and ex-husbands can get on anyone's last nerve. McMillan is on intimate terms with these characters, their fears, frustrations and reactions to the inevitable challenges they face. With her customary compassion for the plight of these larger-than-life women, married or single, this is a story that rings with authenticity. Life comes in all sizes and shapes, delivering joy and sorrow with equal abandon and these friends are spared none of the experiences that come with time. Once again, it is their love for one another that proves the most healing balm in any situation.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Ms PT on September 20, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was soooo looking forward to reading this book, but was soooo disappointed. I thought my 4 favorite characters were finally going to be "happy" and instead the book was about more doom and gloom for them all. Most important, the doom and gloom wasn't even drama that captured my interest. I was hoping that they all would have "grown" from the first book and it seemed to me they didn't. The one good thing about the book was that McMillan stayed true to the personalities of the characters from the first book.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By ishism on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm going to keep this short and will try not to ruin the story for those who have not read this book.

I watched Waiting to Exhale in movie theaters several years before I ever read the book. By then I had read several other books by her as well. From the perspective of a writer, I loved how she constructed sentences and gradually revealed what made her characters tick. Her prose was funny, smart and sassy. Sadly, this book falls way short. Although Terry hasn't lost her touch with the dialogue, the story was often boring.

Because everyone was going through some kind of crisis, none of the problems got the treatment/resolution they deserved. It felt rushed and haphazard.

This book will no doubt be made into a movie. I might check it out on DVD.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Obsidian Blue VINE VOICE on September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so excited to see that a sequel to Waiting to Exhale was out. One of my friends from book club wanted to get together and read Waiting to Exhale and now Getting to Happy to compare them and discuss if we liked the sequel. I thought to myself, what a fun idea, cannot wait!

I mean, how many of us after seeing the movie and reading the book wanted to know how it all turned out for these four women. I like to think of them as the Original Fab Four (not the Sex and the City Girls) and watching them love each other and be there for each other made me happy inside.

For me I imagined that Savannah finally found her Mister Right, that she stopped putting herself last when it came to her family and her relationships and enjoyed living in Phoenix.

Bernadine and James were going to be happy forever, because no man who met her and wooed her like he did could be bad and that she would finally open up her own business like she wanted and was finally over what her ex-husband John did to her.

Gloria and Marvin were going to be happy forever.

Robin for all her immaturity would grow up and raise her unborn daughter/son well with all of the women being there for her and helping her to get through it.

So after reading this novel my main feeling is one of disappointment. I didn't want to give this novel a one star review just because the story did not match my expectations. Sometimes an author can write a novel and take it into a new and exciting direction. However, this novel I feel that Terry McMillan still had some "personal issues she was going through" and that bled into this work.

McMillan in essence had 15 years go by and put all of these characters in the exact same place they were at during the beginning of Waiting to Exhale.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Jackson on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was adding a few books to my Kindle and was very surprised to learn that Terry had written a sequel to "Waiting to Exhale". I pre-ordered it and awaited its' arrival to my Kindle. When it finally arrived, I put my other book on hold and started reading. From page one, I was drawn in. It had me laughing, talking to myself, and one part even had tears in my eyes. I thought the book was very good. And while of course some people would have liked to see all these women with their lives in "perfect" order after fifteen years, but come on, let's be realistic here. Life just isn't all that "perfect". I can relate to these women so much. I am married in my 50's too, and I am still scratching my head when it comes to relationships. I think Terry has it just about right. If not, why are there so many divorced people and so many single women out there still searching? I am looking forward to the movie, which I know is sure to happen. So if you liked "Waiting to Exhale", i think you will like "Getting to Happy". And Terry, if Whitney isn't playing Savannah in this one, I would love to see Gabrielle Union as Savannah. I think that sister would bring it right! Now, back to reading about Madame C.J. Walker. (Who according to her great-granddaughter did not invent the straightening comb) huh?
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