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How Stella Got Her Groove Back Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1997

3.5 out of 5 stars 263 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The author of Waiting to Exhale checks in again with a fresh, exuberant novel. Stella Payne is a Superwoman who has everything--except a man to rock her world, something she's convinced she can well do without. On a spur-of-the-moment Jamaican vacation she meets Winston, a man half her age, and finds, to her dismay, that her world is indeed well and truly rocked. Stella soon realizes that she's come to a cataclysmic juncture in her life, one that forces new and difficult questions about her passions and expectations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Her readers may be surprised that, after the gritty, tell-it-as-it-is Mama and Waiting to Exhale, McMillan has now written a fairy tale. Her "forty-fucking-two-year-old" heroine, divorcee Stella Payne, possesses a luxurious house and pool in northern California, a lucrative job as a security analyst, a BMW and a truck, a personal trainer and an adorable 11-year- old son-but no steady guy. On a whim, Stella decides to vacation in Jamaica, and she narrates the ensuing events in a revved-up voice, naked of punctuation, that alternates between high-voltage energy and erotic languor. Romance comes to Stella under tropical skies-but there's a problem. Gorgeous, seductive Winston, the chef-trainee with whom she enjoys passionate sex (explicitly detailed), is shockingly young: he's not quite 21. Naturally, Stella wonders if he really loves her; endless soul-searching and a few tepid complications occupy the remainder of the narrative. When Stella loses her job, it's no sweat; she has enough savings to maintain her lifestyle. When fate throws two other gorgeous men her way, she immediately decides they are boring and isn't tempted for a minute. Meanwhile, her intense preoccupation with feminine deodorant sprays and the smell of women's public bathrooms is rather strange, to say the least. McMillan's expletive-strewn narrative accommodates such musings, however, and readers who have been yearning for a Judith Krantz of the black bourgeoisie-albeit one with a dirty mouth and a more ebullient spirit-will be pleased with this fantasy of sexual fulfillment. 100,000 first printing; major ad/ promo; first serial rights to People and Essence; BOMC main selection; film rights to 20th Century Fox; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (June 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451192001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451192004
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,375,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 9, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
For a writing style that is similar to the style I am writing this review in you will find a lovely story of a 42 year old woman who falls in lust with a 21 year old man whose best characteristic is that he kisses real nice and she has a son who tells her age is just a number so she goes ahead and continues the relationship if you like long run-on sentences without a comma or a period and can relate only to kids fresh out of highschool then this book is for you because thats the basic contents of the story really really I mean you will read long paragraphs and feel like you have to hold your breath just to read it and I got tired of the constant highschoolish jitters she got as she would wait by the phone for Winston to call and she'd have to be reassured each time that yes indeed he does care for her and there is nobody else I recommend this book highly if you want an easy read that you can read in a half an hour because it is easy to skip the long rambling parts.
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Format: Hardcover
Usually I enjoy a book more than the movie. In this case it was the opposite. Ms. McMillan has created a self-absorbed character who is more concerned with her own appearance (and the appearance of others) than any other quality.
It is hard to understand why Stella is so smitten with her young love interest, as their conversation seems on a level with a couple in high school. She continually demonstrates the self esteem of a high school girl as well; each time she doesn't hear from Winston for a little while she is convinced he doesn't really care for her, despite his protests to the contrary.
After reading 3/4 of this book, that centered mostly on her possessions and status symbols (hair, clothes, car, home furnishings, music, etc.), I found I had to put it down. When I began reading this book I enjoyed the run-on, stream of consciousness style of the author; but reading about Stella's self-absorbed world finally became too boring an experience to want to finish it.
I often share my books with friends, but in this case I would be embarrassed to do so.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't pick up "Stella" expecting something serious and deep. Read it for what it is - a fun romance that's light and airy and meant to take you and your mind into a world away from today's every day grind.
Stella decides to take a last minute trip to Jamaica, and winds up having the time of her life and meeting the man of her dreams, a man a LOT younger than she is! But who cares? Stella does at first, and fights this battle all the way til the end. She falls madly in love with Winston, who is barely in his 20's, but he's the kind of man she's always dreamed of, and they "click"!
I loved the style of the book - the rambling sentences that took us into Stella's mind. I loved the time she spent in Jamaica, and the fact that she had the guts to do this trip (it is something I've done myself, on a similar whim!! I can totally relate!). Stella teaches us that you dont' have to be stuck in your rut and conform - go and do what makes you feel good! Have fun!!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Main Entree: "How Terry lost her groove, oops ur, How Stella got her Groove back"
Ingredients:
1 cup washed up writer
1-1/2 tablespoons of boredom
pinch of mindless fluff
3 quarts long run-on sentences/paragraphs
1 3oz. package of single, wealthy career mom
Instructions:
1 Go on vacation
2 meet a young man
3 come back and write about your experience
(Word for painstaking word)
4 Have no regard for punctuation
Makes (about): Thousands of angry fans
*no experience or talent necessary*
expected time: 3 weeks to write, 3 painstaking weeks to get through, if you don't poke your eyes out first
-
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved Waiting to Exhale -- this book is not as "deep" psychologically speaking, but it's a fun romp in Jamaica. No one gets inside the upper middle class black mind like MacMillan. She's not going for Shakespeare here, so give her a break -- this is a fun book to be enjoyed and savored. I think more readers should be happy that for once we have positive and strong black literary characters who are financial successes. I hope both black and white children will learn something from these books alone the lines of there are plenty of successful black women -- not all black people play basketball or deal drugs! The sexual plot is throughly enjoyable -- I think MacMillan must have had a ball writing this one. For an enjoyable read, pick it up!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like another reviewer, I, too, recently decided to re-read this book in light of McMillan's highly publicized divorce from Jonathan Plummer, my morbid curiosity wanting to see if I had missed any "clues" in my first reading, over six years ago, that could have tipped me off to the eventual demise of their relationship.

And I, too, apparently didn't realize how badly-written it was the first time around. The run-on sentences, the two-dimensional characters, and of course, the endless, pointless descriptions of Stella's clothes and furniture and hotel rooms...

The love story in and of itself is sweet, but gets buried under the page-long sentences and laundry lists of Stella's many, many posessions, of which Winston, in a lot of ways, seems to be just another: the huge funky house, the nice car, the dizzying wardrobe of swimwear, and then the hot young Jamaican lover. I think the only reason Stella lost her groove in the first place is it was burried in her closet under a mountain of brand-new CDs and expensive clothes.
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