Waiting To Exhale

by Terry Mcmillan


4.2 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

4.2 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

Description:

From the critically acclaimed author of A Day Late and a Dollar Short and The Interruption of Everything, a wise, earthy story of a friendship between four African American women who lean on each other while “waiting to exhale”: waiting for that man who will take their breath away.

409
English
Romance, Genre

About The Author

Terry McMillan is an African-American author. Her interest in books comes from working at a library when she was fourteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 from the University of California at Berkeley and the MFA Film Program at Columbia University. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists.

Her first book, Mama, was self-promoted. She achieved national attention in 1992 with her third novel, Waiting to Exhale, which remained on The New York Times bestseller list for many months. Forest Whitaker turned it into a film in 1995. In 1998, another of McMillan’s novels, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, was made into a movie. McMillan’s novel Disappearing Acts was subsequently produced as a direct-to-cable feature.

Her last novel, Who Asked You?, casts an intimate look at the burdens and blessings of family and speaks to trusting your own judgment even when others don’t agree.


Average Reader Rating

4.2 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings

Reader Reviews

5 reviews for Waiting To Exhale

  1. 4 out of 5

    Talk about timing! With relations between African-American men and women in the spotlight as never before, here comes McMillan’s report from the front: her bawdy, vibrant, deliciously readable third novel (Mama, Disappearing Acts) is the story of four black women friends and their frequently disastrous encounters with black men. The four are in their mid-to-late 30s, middle-class women making good money, and they live in Phoenix. Savannah, who has everything she wants except a man, has just moved from Denver, partly to be close to best friend Bernadine, whose 11-year-old marriage has collapsed. Super-successful “buppie” (black yuppie) John has tricked Bernadine every which way, but his greatest betrayal is crossing the color line to snare a California blond; now Bernadine must raise their two kids alone. Her friends Robin and Gloria are not having any better luck: Robin is a backsliding bubblehead whose study of astrology has not cured her weakness for “pretty men with big dicks” who use and abuse her, while the only male in overweight, matronly Gloria’s life is her teenage son Tarik, a source of both anxiety and pride. We watch these women in a swirl of motion: working, partying, dishing, dating, and consoling each other on their misfortunes with men. Their consensus is that “black men play too many games” and are terrified of making commitments, even if they’re buppies (“riffraff comes in all kinds of packages”). Two points here: First, McMillan’s novel is not indiscriminately bashing brothers–there are good men out there (both Bernadine and Gloria have fine prospects by the end), and women cannot escape all the blame (Savannah’s inability to say the three magic words costs her dearly). Second, these women do not mope. The story’s best scene has them falling-down drunk at Gloria’s hilarious birthday party; indeed, they are as timeless as Molly Bloom or the Wife of Bath in their robust sensuality. A novel that hits so many exposed nerves is sure to be a conversation-piece: it has heart and pizzazz and even, yes, the sweet smell of the breakthrough book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    “Amazing Reading”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Throughout all the ups and downs with men, some serious and some downright comical, what comes through is how important friendship between women can be, both when life is going well and when it’s not. Each one of the women has something to learn from the others, be it a willingness to loosen up a little, or a need to become more responsible. Throughout it all, the friends are able to accept each other as they are, even when they disagree with life choices. All three friends know that Robin’s boyfriend Russell is a no-account loser, but accept that she needs to realize that on her own, even as they vent about him to each other.McMillan’s writing makes the women’s relationships as well as their experiences tangible. Every woman can relate to Savannah’s horror at finding herself stuck with a clingy man who was introduced by friends, and every woman will sigh when Bernadine meets James, who may well be the perfect man aside from his wife. While the focus is on four African-American women, the friendships and experiences with men are something that any woman can relate to, even if some of the characterizations of the men they meet border on stereotype. Their relationships with men don’t define their lives; they merely reflect them. This book is a must-read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Like all books by this author it started out really well and I was enjoying and getting into the thrill thereof and I thoroughly loved the chemistry between the yummy Vance and his feisty assistant Charlie (Charlotte) but at one stage the book lost a little something that is hard for me to pin down. It was as if the author lost her connection to the characters and suddenly the depth and emotion was no longer there as strong as it should have been.Over all a good read yes but I would have liked to see the author keep the feeling going. And it is for that reason and that reason only that this one gets a 3 on the scale . I would also say the author should have added a little more of a punch or mystery to the blackmailing scheme just to give the book that certain something and also to take the focus of the emotional depth that it lacked in the end. Aside from that the book was heart warming enough and the overall plot was well written.

  5. 4 out of 5

    “’Vannah” Jackson is a successful television producer who holds on to the belief that one day her married lover will leave his wife for her. She later comes to find that he will never leave his wife and she must find her own man who will love her for her. Bernadine “Bernie” Harris abandons her own career dreams and desire of having a catering business to raise a family, and support her husband, who leaves her for a white woman. Robin Stokes is a high-powered executive and the long-time mistress of married Russell. She has problems finding a decent man of her own after dumping him. Savannah “’Vannah” Jackson is a successful television producer who holds on to the belief that one day her married lover will leave his wife for her. She later comes to find that he will never leave his wife and she must find her own man who will love her for her.Bernadine “Bernie” Harris abandons her own career dreams and desire of having a catering business to raise a family, and support her husband, who leaves her for a white woman.

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