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Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Acceptable condition showing some wear to covers, corners, and edges from handling. Text is clean and free from marking. Binding in good condition. Last 50 pages have very light water wrinkling on a small area preventing a good rating.
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Mama Hardcover – 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is McMillan's zesty first novel about an impoverished black family's struggle to overcome its problems.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Mama , a first novel, tells of a proud black woman, Mildred Peacock, and her five children. After a violent fight, Mildred throws her drunken husband out of the house. On her own in the poor town of Point Haven, Michigan, Mildred scrimps and drinks, works and goes on welfare, struggling to raise her kids and keep her sanity. Mildred's closest bond is to her oldest daughter, Freda, and their lives parallel each other's progress from despair to hope. The book's main weakness is that the author apparently could not decide what to leave out. She also has not decided who her audience is: at times she seems to be writing to blacks, at other times to be explaining things to naive white readers. Although the story has power, it lacks focus and a clear point of view. Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community Coll. Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft,
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Black Expressions Book Club (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965660850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965660853
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. J Pronio on June 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my third Terry McMillan novel and once again, I am a huge fan. Her books are REAL, lively, and full of life's lessons and hurts. And although I am white, this family story resonates in my head as my own.
Mama, the mother of five, is a struggling black woman who's lived in near poverty her entire life. She is strong, opinionated, bossy, with a grit that only comes from living life the hard way, but also has the character to 'want a back yard', shine the windows and keep her babies polite, hard workers and knowin' they got some good in this life. All of that while she put up with thier Daddy, a boozer and abuser, who Mildred (Mama) finally cuts loose.
The story goes on for a couple of decades, with each of her babies lives opening like a flower. All the while, Mildred is growing and then wilting, on and on...
This story is real! NO family has happy or unhappy endings. We are all on a journey that doesn't stop... and Terry McMillan knows how to display this more than any other modern writer I've experienced!
Awesome, excellent, terrific!!
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By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was wonderful, when they cried, I cried, when they laughted, I laughted!! I read this book in 92' I can still remember most of the details. I know that when reading I wanted so most for each of the daughters to accomplish something and at end some did and some didn't. A MUST READ, ENJOY
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have enjoyed reading Terry McMillan's books from the moment I picked up "Waiting to Exhale" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back." I love Ms. McMillians sassiness in her characters and her straight forward, in your face approach.
This book was another hit as far as I am concerned. It was another page turner that I could not put down. I may not have like the characters personally, such as Mama, she needed a swift kicked in the butt. I found her to be very selfish and cold. She whinned to much for me and I would not have given her my forwarding address if I were one of her children. She was a horrible example for her children in a lot of ways. God's hands were helping these children survive and thrive in a desolate place.
Terry, thanks for writing this story. I love your style and wish you continued success. I am looking forward to reading your next book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Terry Mcmillan has changed my life. I was never the one to pick up a book and read it from front to back. But then I got a hold on to Terry Mcmillan's MAMA. I was 12 years old and I read it twice. I have been reading ever since. I tell every one about her. Everything I read is based on one of her books. Or should I say that I compare every book to her books. Mama was and still is the best book I have ever picked up. I love the book! I have all of her books. I can't help book read Mama more then once. It showed me how real somepeople write. That book is so raw. I would just turn page after page and not care about the time. I would get finish reading Mama in one day. It got me reading and writing more then I ever did. And oh yeah I am now 19 years old. I have read over 100 books. And I owe it all to Terry Mcmillan's MAMA. Thank You Terry Mcmillan!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay, I have to be honest, I've read this book several times. First, because I enjoyed it and secondly because of the dynamics of Fredda's character, and her love-hate relationship she has with her mother.
In spite of McMillan entitling this book "Mama" freda is clearly the focus [of the story]. Still, I did over-stand Mildred Peacock [Mama]. Mildred was a disparate woman surrounded by the narrow-minded expectations and demands of a small town in Michican during a time where there was little opportunities offered to women of color -- especially one with five children and no husband. So, like many women, Mildred did what she deemed necessary, to survive. Admirable in light of her also surviving spousal abuse. Okay, so Mildred was no nun, and she used everyman that took a fancy to her and justified her every mistake. But her redeeming quality is she wanted more for her children and pushed them toward the bigger picture.
Altough Terry McMillian's first novel, I thought it showed more promise than most of her current works available. Now don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of McMillian's. But, Mama was an exception, it's a superb reminder [in my oppinion] of so many LOUD, good intentioned, Sistas (mothers) raising kids in the hood during my own childhood. So placing one face on her was an almost impossible task.
Was this book realistic? Absolutely, I honestly knew Mildred. When the moral of the story is "life's tough" and "Sometimes, you hurt the one's you love" and even (and especially in the case of "Money," Mildred's wayward son) "It's never to late to change"...Now I ask you: Which of that isn't true to life?
... The truth is, [at least in my case] I can still look out the window and point out a Mildred, and look in the Mirror to see Fredda(smile).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Terry McMillan put much of my life into words with Mama. This book helped me realize there is a purpose for everyone, and sometimes our problems are not so unique. It helps you get over yourself and start to look for your own answers, instead of snuggling up with your all-too-familiar problems. Viscious circles will allow you to fester and die, not far from where you began, but a straight path from here will at least get you somewhere else. Although, Waiting to Exhale, is not a "sequel" it does seem to progress to the next phase of life for young black women, therefore, I would begin the Terry McMillan experience with Mama, and then read Waiting to Exhale, following with either How Stella Got Grove Back or Disappearing Acts. In all honesty, I was disappointed in the movie Waiting to Exhale, it does not substitute for the book. Each woman is more evolved in the book, however Angela Bassett did handle her business!
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