March 24, 2020

It's Not All Downhill From Here

"And when I die, I don't want it to be because of some stupid shit I did to myself. Or because of what I didn't do for myself. And from the look of things it does not look like we get a do-over." ~ 77%

There is nothing like a sudden change of plans that makes you re-evaluate what you're doing for the rest of your life. For 68-year-old Loretha, it is the unexpected death of her husband to make her put things into perspective. She has to summon all her strength and push on with the help of lifelong friends. Lo is determined to prove her good-intentioned mother, her jealous twin sister, her estranged daughter and everyone else that it really isn't all downhill after a certain age and circumstances.

By the third chapter, the book had me asking aloud, "damn, is it all downhill from here?!" It was too early in the story. But oh how I appreciated the timing of it all. McMillan's writing style remains the same in that she covers an extended period of time but only highlights the major moments. No mundane or unnecessary chapters. No filler paragraphs. And it didn't feel like big plot holes or character development jumps. Like a true friendship, you can go weeks without speaking but catch-up like you never missed a beat.

"Nobody should have to hide who they are inside to please people on the outside." ~ 20%

The women in It's Not All Downhill From Here go through some shit. Death, addiction, age, illness, parenting and unconditional love. Yes, it's a lot but also what makes it a good novel. This is what grown black women go through every single day. We carry the weight of the world and our families. We often put others' needs before our own. As an unfortunate result, we neglect our own health and goals in the process. Does it mean life goes downhill when we reach a certain age? No, and Lo proves it between these pages. I appreciate McMillan's writing characters that grow along with me.

Bookhearts, you have one week to gather your coins and settle in for this new novel! I would not call it a page-turner but more like a steady read. There were times I wanted to yell at a character to stop procrastinating, stop bullshitting, ask and accept help, or reach through the ink and shake some sense into her. And at other times, I could read with background noise and not miss much. I recommend It's Not All Downhill From Here for close girlfriends and female book clubs. You will most certainly relate and have a good long conversation about friendship and life's unexpected trials.

Happy Early Pub Day, Terry McMillan! It's Not All Downhill From Here will be available next Tuesday, March 31.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: It's Not All Downhill From Here
Author: Terry McMillan
Published: March 2020
Pages: 368
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤


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