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If I Could Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2012

46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The rueful theme "if I could turn back time" underlies much of romance writer Hill's heartfelt if formulaic paean to the power of positive thinking and decisive action. Insecure Regina Everette is the chief protagonist of this serious-minded drama featuring three African-American women at crucial points in their lives. As she nears 40, Regina is overwhelmed by responsibilities. Against the wishes of her controlling and boorishly sexist husband, Russell, she is a successful but unhappy reporter at New York's Daily News; she also has two teenage children. Her friends think her life is perfect, but she knows better. In a major overhaul, she first divorces Russell, then quits her job, stunning friends and family as she moves to make a life all her own. Meanwhile, her two girlfriends are undergoing their own existential crises. Social worker Antoinette, unable to forget her impoverished Louisiana upbringing, is cheating on her chauffeur husband, and Victoria, tormented by the darkness of her skin, is pregnant with her white husband's child and unsure about whether or not to keep it. Set up as the Terry McMillanish story of a trio of women, the familiar button pushing is there from the beginning, but the saving grace of true affection and camaraderie comes too late. The list of "Affirmations for Living" and the reading group guide at the book's conclusion underscore its motivational bent. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A wonderfully-crafted tale of hope, promise, and redemption."

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758201311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758201317
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,564,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My official writing career began in 1987 when my first short story was published. My first novel, Rooms of the Heart was published in 1990. Since then there have been a slew of books and short stories that I've had published, from romance to women's fiction, chic-lit, erotica and mysteries. I enjoy them all. Three of my novels were adapted for television so that was exciting. I've had the honor of conceptualizing and editing several collections: After the Vows, Midnight Clear, Where There's a Will, Indecent Exposure, and The Hot Spot. I currently write full time and live in Brooklyn, NY with my family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kendari2 on December 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I have ever read by Donna Hill. I enjoyed the book, but I feel that it could have been less narration.
The story is of 3 sista friends who have known each other since college. They basically have everything---except happiness. Regina is caught in a bad marriage and ends up divorced and then decides she is unhappy with her job and up and quits. Everyone thinks that Regina has totally "lost" it. Little do they know she is about to find happiness in the form of her own businesss and also a new man.
Toni is so caught up in her work and helping others, that she doesn't see her marriage and her son slipping away. When her son is arrested for selling drugs--it is an eye opener for both Toni and her husband.
Vicky is the bank president and social climber of the group. She has emotional scars that stem from when she was a young child that prevent her from truly being happy. She has the perfect job, perfect husband and pretty much a perfect life--except she is not happy. It takes a near tragedy to make her realize that she needs to put the past behind her.
Continued success and blessings to Donna Hill. Peace!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sean D. Young on November 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Donna Hill is well known for her sizzling romance novels. Well, Donna has done a wonderful job in this book, If I Could. Regina only wanted respect and support from her family and friends, but all they did was tell her how wrong she was about everything in her life. Only Regina herself could make her life what she wanted it to be. Sometimes in order to grow we have to stay away from people that have a negative influence.
Regina's friends Toni and Vicky had major issues of their own. They could never see their problems, but was always telling Regina what was wrong with her life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I know a couple of people that are just like the characters in this book. All of us at some point in our lives think IF IF COULD.....
Great story Donna.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Everyone who looks at Regina and Russell Everette feel the African-American couple has the perfect marriage. Obviously, they care for each other and together they are raising two wonderful teens. Both are reasonably successful at their jobs.

So what caused Regina to file for divorce and quit her job as a reporter? Hidden from the public view of the couple is Russell, an old fashion chauvinist who expects his spouse to feed him, do the laundry, and clean the house even if he happens to be home all day. Regina has since grown from the person who cherished her husband's every word, but he has not seen her changing needs. As two of her best friends also go into relationship crisis, Regina decides to set the tone by no longer asking what IF I COULD, but by doing.

Best-selling author Donna Hill writes an inspiring drama centering on the changing needs of middle aged African-American women that actually holds up for any fortyish female regardless of race. The story line encourages individuals to think positive and do what they feel is right. Although the plot reads at times somewhat like a motivational prescription for change, the tale works. Readers can empathize with Regina while understanding that Russell is not a bad person, just unable to hear what his wife asks of him.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Yasmin Coleman on January 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
If I Could Is Donna Hill's mainstream debut novels. The storyline tackles issues such as self-worth/acceptance, class, race relations and identity and introduces us to memorable characters. Regina is the protagonist of the storyline and the storyline centers around her relationship with her husband, friends and meddling mother. Regina's closest friends include Victoria and Toni girlfriends she met in college and now some 20 years later events of daily living and smothering fires force them to confront each other and their personal situations. Ms. Hill did a wonderful job in developing the characters as we can see a little of ourselves in at least one of them; these were women in their late 30s/early 40 facing real life situations...some of them situations that we all face on a daily basis. Women from all walks of life can closely identify with the crossroads or transitions that each of these ladies faced.
Regina-appeared to have it all a good husband, good job, wonderful home but happiness and inner peace appeared to be lacking. All her life she did what others told her to do..she was the proverbial good gurl. For years, Regina put everyone-husband, mother, children, friends-before herself but gradually overtime she snaps out of her stifling existence and awakens to find herself. Regina is really the only one who sees things for what they are and when life starts to fall apart for those around her...they realize that Regina was just always herself and that she didn't play games and she accepted you as you were. Victoria-scarred by evil sisters, her mom and society always felt that she wasn't good enough because of her skin color.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Regina was the woman who always followed the rules. The nuns at her Catholic school put the fear of God into her at an early age, and her mother, Millie, ran her entire life. Millie controlled everything about her from how she would dress to whom she would marry. So when Regina met Russell Everette during college, she fell completely in love with him. He was his own person, knew exactly what he wanted and never allowed anyone to stop him from getting just that, unlike her who was never given a choice and submitted to everyone else's wishes for her. Regina didn't think she'd have to submit to Russell as well. They wanted the same things out of life and their marriage. But when her plans changed and she decided to go back to school and become a reporter for the Daily News, Regina soon realizes Russell isn't too different from the nuns and her mother. His relentless and unyielding ways begin to take control and hinder her from living the life she truly wants. Finally, Regina gets tired of hearing Russell tell her she'll never succeed at her career and that it's ruining their family and marriage. When Gina finally decides enough is enough, stand back. She is determined to reach her long-overdue freedom and happiness, and no one is safe. She scandalizes her two best friends, shakes up her relationship with her mother, quits her job and divorces Russell after 14 years of marriage. Donna Hill has certainly quenched the thirst of millions of yearning readers. "If I Could" empowers both male and female readers to get the courage to live for themselves. Hill took the characters through a mirroring phase where they looked deep into their own souls and pasts to begin finding answers to the problems they were dealing with.Read more ›
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