October 10, 2010

Getting to Happy: Are We There Yet?

Fifteen years ago, we were introduced to four unforgettable characters: Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin. You may have read the book or seen the movie. Let me refresh your memory. (Best believe I had to refresh mine by watching the movie before beginning reading.) 

Savannah Jackson (Whitney Houston) was finally over her married boyfriend, Kenneth, and realized her worth. 

Gloria Matthews (Loretta Devine) had just met her handsome neighbor, Marvin. 

Bernadine Harris (Angela Bassett) was still hurt over her husband John leaving her for his white mistress. How can we forget the infamous burning car scene and her drastic haircut that followed? She also spent a peaceful night with James (Wesley Snipes) in a hotel room. 

Robin Stokes (Lela Rochon) was just getting over Russell and dedicated to raising her unborn daughter as a single mom. 

At the end of Waiting to Exhale, we were all hopeful that these relatable ladies found their way. We hoped that they were on the road to rebuilding a positive life. Now fifteen years later, bestselling author Terry McMillan brings them back and we realize that all four women are still getting to happy.

During numerous interviews, Terry McMillan expressed that she had no intentions on bringing these women back. She didn’t set out to purposely write a sequel. But, here is Getting to Happy. It is more of a follow-up to the movie version of Waiting to Exhale.

Savannah is divorcing a man named Isaac after finding out about his addiction to porn. Now she needs to decide whether marriage is really for her, or if dating the rest of her life is the right choice.

Gloria seems to be the only one happy in a successful marriage with Marvin, until sadness comes knocking at the door. Her son Tarik is now grown with a family of his own and problems to boot.

Bernadine actually pursued a relationship with James and they are now married. But we soon find out whether the life story he told in the hotel room that night was the truth.

And Robin is still Robin, independently raising her mature teenage daughter and searching for Mr. Right.

The Phoenix divas are going through one crisis after another. How much more can these four women take? I thought they exhaled; now they are finding themselves in unhappy times again. I ASSumed the sequel would be about them finally getting what they deserve in life. Almost 400 pages and these chicks still ain’t got to happy yet. What a disappointment! I did learn one lesson though. Why live a navy blue life when it should be lemon yellow? Hmm...

I went to the book signing on my birthday and heard comments from other readers. Their views mirrored my own. So it wasn’t just me. But out of loyalty and fandom, I struggled to finish. I understand that some characters haunt authors, and somehow ease their way back onto pages. But these women should have been left alone at that bonfire. Terry McMillan’s interview with Oprah was better than the sequel. Now that’s a true example of Getting to Happy.

Literary Marie's Rating: ♥♥♡


  1. "Why live a navy blue life, when it should be lemon yellow" sounds like a quote from a intellectual facebooker. Guess I'll be updating soon...
    Words from my Favorite Blogger "Precision Reviews" ..."out of loyality and fandom", I too will be cracking open "Getting to Happy". Stay tuned to an additional comment

  2. I guess I was the only one that liked the book? I think the title was appropriate..."Getting to Happy" seems to be a process for these ladies. If Terry had tied everyone together in a neat little bow with no new problems I would have been dissapointed.

  3. I must agree with Jessica, I actually "liked" the book. I listened on audio so that maybe why I liked it. I feel like the story was "real". I was glad that it was not a sugary sweet lie. Great review!

  4. Thanks for the comments all.

    Gabby, I'm looking forward to your additional comment once you crack it open and read.

    Jessica, you weren't the only one to like the book. And yes, the title was appropriate. The ladies were indeed GETTING to a happy place in their lives.

    Vern, it's not that I dislike the book. I just kept thinking we waited 15 years for this? The individual story lines were real and I wouldn't have preferred a fairy tale, but enough with the hardship tales.