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The Interruption of Everything Hardcover – July 19, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Mcmillan, Terry
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (July 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670031445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670031443
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Terry McMillan's sixth novel, The Interruption of Everything, is every bit as enthralling and empowering as her earlier hits Waiting to Exhale and A Day Late and a Dollar Short. However, as McMillan matures as an author, her characters follow suit, which leads her to a wiser, more introspective lead character in the form of Marilyn Grimes. Our reward, as readers, is a tale of midlife crisis, mixed with family and personal drama, all told in the witty, honest, and inspiring style we've come to expect from this seasoned storyteller.

As Marilyn approaches middle-age, we follow her struggle to discover herself outside the constraints of a passionless marriage, a demanding family and an ever-growing list of dreams deferred. With three children in college, a husband who suffers from destructive professional and personal inertia, a demanding mother-in-law, a senile mother and a drug-addicted sister, Marilyn has more on her plate than she expected at this stage of the game. Torn between taking care of her friends and family and attending to her own needs, she's faced with choices, like deciding to finish her graduate degree, that never before seemed hers to make. Along the way, supporting characters like Marilyn's feisty little niece and supportive-yet-opinionated best friends Paulette and Bunny add humor and depth to our heroine's character. And as always, McMillan does a flawless job of incorporating humor into even the most traumatic situations, as evidenced by a scene in which Marilyn ends up babysitting her hairdresser's children while waiting twelve hours for new braids. ("At three, Blue has to make a run. Orange has to go to the bank to get a money order. I ask Lexus to find me a Pamper and I take the baby in the bathroom.")

Warm and witty, sincere and heartfelt, The Interruption of Everything is sure to delight McMillan devotees and attract a host of new fans. --Gisele Toueg

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller McMillan (A Day Late and a Dollar Short) does what she does best in her long-awaited sixth novel. Her candid, spirited narrator is Marilyn Grimes, a 40-something wife and mother who's beginning to feel unappreciated by her family and underwhelmed by her 25-year marriage. With her three kids in college, Marilyn works part-time at a crafts store, feeds her neglected creative muse with various artsy projects, and jaws with her friends in their good-natured regular "Private Pity Party." Having always been there for others—her engineer husband, Leon; her drug-addicted sister, Joy, and Joy's two kids; her live-in mother-in-law, Arthurine; and her mother, Lovey—Marilyn wonders what it would be like to think of her own needs for once. Meanwhile Leon's questioning his professional future, his marriage and his fashion sense (he buys a Harley and starts dressing "like a chubby old hip-hopper"). As they seek their own solutions, Marilyn discovers she's pregnant, Lovey shows signs of Alzheimer's, Arthurine begins dating, Joy struggles to get sober and Marilyn's ex-husband reappears and awakens old feelings. With her trademark ability to write thought-provoking tales inspired by the lives and loves of contemporary African-American women, McMillan offers another novel sure to resonate with readers grappling with the questions Marilyn poses to herself. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

The novel ends with too many loose ends.
A Reader
This is only the 2nd book by Terry McMillan that I've read, and I loved it.
KayeKaye
This is a very good and easy to read book.
Barbara M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Pretty Brown Girl VINE VOICE on July 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the early 1990's, author Terry McMillan gave a voice to young African American women via the antics of the characters in her New York Times bestseller, Waiting to Exhale. Now, nearly 13 years later, she is back with another definite hit, The Interruption of Everything, which focuses on the trials and tribulations of a middle-aged woman, Marilyn Grimes. It is an engaging novel that truly transcends race and culture because art imitates life - Marilyn's experiences are very real for many women of all ethnicities.

Years ago, Marilyn put her dreams, education and career on hold, dedicating herself to motherhood and marriage. Now, a forty-something-year old homemaker whose children have recently left home, she can't quite enjoy her new child-free phase of life. She works part-time in a crafts store largely to fight boredom, loneliness, and pursue her lifelong hobby. Her husband, Leon, a chronic workaholic, is absent all day and most evenings. Her children still rely on her as the primary problem solver for anything that goes wrong in their lives, whether it be physical, financial or emotional. She unwillingly has been pulled in as chauffer, chef, and caregiver to her nosey, manipulative, opinionated, live-in mother-in-law and her mangy poodle. Yet another burden she faces is dealing with her foster sister (a single mother and drug addict) who recently started disappearing for days leaving her young, unruly children with their ailing mother, who is showing signs of Alzheimer's. Things are further complicated when a routine doctor's visit to address menopausal symptoms reveal Marilyn is pregnant!

She is at the apex of frustration and exhaustion. A lonely, tired, and numb Marilyn struggles to reclaim her life, dreams and passions.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on July 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
THE INTERRUPTION OF EVERYTHING by Terry McMillan

July 24, 2005

Amazon Rating: 4/5 stars

THE INTERRUPTION OF EVERYTHING by Terry McMillan is about a middle-aged African American woman who is ready to find a niche of her own, tired of being the one that has to take care of everyone else. Marilyn Grimes is that middle-aged woman, working part time at a craft store and enjoying it. She's been told she's good at making things with her hands, and she's thinking of doing something more serious with it (she's already sold a few things in the shop that is owned by a friend of hers). But life is busy for Marilyn. Instead of pursuing a career, she spent most of her adult life taking care of her husband, her children, and now she's taking care of her mother and mother-in-law, as well as worrying about a sister who has been in and out of trouble. Marilyn loves them all, but she is getting fed up that it's never about her, and always about them.

Lots of great characters in this book, including her mother-in-law Arthurine who I thought was a hoot, and her new boyfriend Prezzle. Arthurine's little dog Snuffy who is on his last legs is also a character unto himself, and the both of them drive Marilyn up the wall. And now Marilyn's husband Leon seems to be going through some mid-life crisis, something she does not need right now. He's dressing up in funky outfits and talking about making a career change. I also felt for Marilyn when she had to deal with her mother, Lovey, who seemed to be having major memory problems. Lovey lived with Joy, the adopted sister who had been off and on drugs for years, and that was another worry that Marilyn didn't need to deal with.

Fans who have loved Terry McMillan's books will love this one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sunny D. on July 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
You need not be an African American woman to relate to how Marilyn (the main character) in this book is feeling or thinking. As a 37 year old widow of four teenagers, I felt like this book was a perfect read for me because I along with other moms out there, are feeling dormant or that our lives are put on hold in order to deal with our children and families which are priorities...self-sacrifice comes with the territory and wanting to have a life of your own is only natural. It really hit home for me and unlike one writer for USA today a Miss Deirdre Donahue who reviewed this and felt that Marilyn was "whining too much". Perhaps Miss Donahue cannot relate to the emotions in this book and should not feel that THE INTERRUPTION OF EVERYTHING is a "setback" for readers. I disagree with her on that one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Northrop on October 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have liked all of Terry McMillan's previous novels, especially Exhale and A Day Late. However, TIOE falls short of her previous works.

There are no decent men in this novel, not one to redeem the male gender. Marilyn's husband is a useless, silly man who is shut up emotionally; her sister's children have no father whatsoever; there is no mention of her own father that I can recall; and her first husband is divorced from her for some pretty shaky reasons.

This novel tries to deal with a ton of issues as they relate to the heroine - aging parents becoming ill, aging parents falling in love, mid-life crises, empty nest syndrome, menopause, substance abuse, child neglect, violence, fatherless children, re-entering the academic world and more. Marilyn's friends are a small measure of support and entertainment, but they don't really bring anything solid to the table to really help their friend deal with her many and various problems.

This novel was predominantly plot-driven, with the characters suffering a two-dimensional existence. Hardcore McMillan fans will most likely take issue with this review, but I recommend if you are not a diehard McMillan fan, check this out of the library rather than purchase it.
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