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Editorial Reviews

It’s been 15 years and the four women you loved from Waiting to Exhale are back — with a few more wrinkles, a few more pounds, but the same old man issues. Savannah (voiced by author Terry McMillan), who was single when we last knew her, has now been married for 10 years and is falling out of love. Robin has a 15-year-old daughter and is trying her hand at internet dating. Bernadine, now twice divorced, is drowning in her prescription drug addiction. And Gloria, the only woman out of the four with a good man and a happy home is dealt a tragic blow, which brings all four of the women even closer in support of their friend. The same personalities that made the original novel so great are still there, but the bitterness and unhappiness that pervades these women’s lives gets tiresome in this sequel.

McMillan’s portrayal of Savannah is especially bitter and acid-laced and one can’t help but wonder if her own failed marriage inspires the tone. The other three characters, voiced by S. Epatha Merkerson, Gloria Reuben, and LaChanze, sound strikingly familiar to the actresses who portrayed the women in the movie Waiting to Exhale. Whether on purpose or not, it’s easy to picture the characters as their on-screen personas and get involved with them all over again.

If you loved Waiting to Exhale and are curious about where these women ended up, this book is worth a listen. But if you’re hoping they all found a happy ending or have learned something about men and love in the past 15 years, you’re bound to be disappointed. —Colleen Oakley

Publisher's Summary

Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale was more than just a bestselling novel - its publication was a watershed moment in literary history. McMillan's sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place in the world touched a cultural nerve, inspired a blockbuster film, and generated a devoted audience.

Now, McMillan revisits Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin fifteen years later. Each is at her own midlife crossroads: Savannah has awakened to the fact that she's made too many concessions in her marriage, and decides to face life single again-at fifty-one. Bernadine has watched her megadivorce settlement dwindle, been swindled by her husband number two, and conned herself into thinking that a few pills will help distract her from her pain. Robin has an all-American case of shopaholism, while the big dream of her life - to wear a wedding dress - has gone unrealized. And for years, Gloria has taken happiness and security for granted. But being at the wrong place at the wrong time can change everything. All four are learning to heal past hurts and to reclaim their joy and their dreams; but they return to us full of spirit, sass, and faith in one another. They've exhaled: now they are learning to breathe.

©2010 Terry McMillan (P)2010 Penguin Audiobooks

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  • Overall
  • Twanda
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 10-11-10

Read don't listen

I haven't finished the audiobook but it didn't take 5 minutes to realize that Terry McMillan's narration is the death of this work as an audiobook. I'm haven't finished the book so I can't speak to the book itself. However, if you are an avid audiobook listener, you will be disappointed by McMillan's reading. She simply reads the book with none of the voice acting audible fans are used to. For example, it's hard to tell which character is speaking since every one sounds the same. On top of it all, she doesn't have a nice voice to listen to. Take my word for it. This one is probably better for reading (with your eyes instead of your ears). If I could return it I would. I really should have listened to the sample or read the reviews.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Book About Middle Aged Women....

The book was an adequate listen. I would say that the only reason I rated the book like this is because this just isn't my genre in al honesty. The title I believe was done well enough though and I can see where it could easily be seen as one of those 'coming of age'/'life after 45'/'pull yourself up'/'find validation in self' type novels. I'm sure were I a woman, 45, black or any combination of these that this book would have made a more poignant affect on me.

I must say though the Performance was done quite well. I have always liked multiple person narration and this was done pretty much ok. I will say it wasn't done amazingly well like some other titles I am aware of but it was done well enough. The persons who voiced Savannah and Robin were ok. The person who voiced Gloria was actually quite good, she reminds me of my Grandma. The person that voiced Bernadine was also a good choice.

The story itself wasn't my cup of tea per se. It was about 4 women going through various issues and simply trying to find their way through a very trying time. Realistic and I must say also relevant to what is actually going on now, the story is also caught in it's own particular niche. It is not one of those stories that is identifiable for persons all across the board but is more carefully placed in it's own little place. I believe the story will hit the bullseye with a person and be completely off base and forgettable. For me (and I more blame the fact that I am a 25 year old guy) it was completely off base, not too forgettable, but something I would recommend to a particular kind of person (I'm sure my mother would love this book).

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Terry's Voice - Bad Choice!!

It's amazing how well Terry can pen a story. However, she doesn???t do the story any justice by reading the part of Savannah. It sounds like she's running the sentences together & her voice is tooo raspy! It's not sophisticated enough for the character

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • KC
  • 10-01-10

"PUSH PASS Terry's narration"

I had been waiting for this one to come out. So I downloaded 'before' I read the reviews. I "RE-started" 3 times - I had to try to get pass Terry's voice - All of the reviews are right about that comment. Little did I know, Terry is not the only voice. So PUSH PASS how hard it is to listen to Terry's narration because after a while it gets easier. I was able to really enjoy the audiobook. .... I can see another movie and another book from here!!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great snapshot of American life

Getting to Happy
Terry McMillan wrote a brilliant view of were these women are today. as someone who was mid 30???s 15 years ago, with Waiting To Exhale, I am now 50???ish with Getting to Happy, and she captured our generation to a T!
from hot flashes, to sandwich generations, through heart attacks, internet porn, helping with grand kids, losing long term jobs- these are all OUR lives. I was laughing and crying out loud. its a Mid-Class view, and it crosses color lines.
where McMillan fails is when she is trying to push the ???social agenda.??? I agree with her causes, (Katrina, teen pregnancies, casinos for the elderly, and more) but her writing about them as if they come from her characters does not ring true.
the characters ring so true, but not when they speak ???agenda??? its as if your girlfriend is lying to you.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gail
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 09-14-10

Bad Voice

Although I love Terry's novels, she should not read her own novels. I couldn't get past the first chapter. Sorry I wasted a credit. I will need to purchase the paper version to read it myself.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • DLA
  • USA
  • 12-31-10

You will get to know the Characters as people you

I truly enjoyed this book. The four friends are right at my age and each of them have something in their lives that are similar to my life! I can relate to the characters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Disappointing, Poor Narration

Though I have long been an avid reader, I doubt if I'll be able to finish this book. Terry should not narrate again. Her voice is the same for every character and the voice is monotonous and tedious. I wonder who co-wrote the book with her? Her sister, Rosyln? Rosyln is a terrible writer. I wished I had heeded the poor reviews I read and saved a credit.

After my disappointment in her last book and in this one, I won't buy another of her books. I wonder if her personal life has affected her writing. Without giving anything away for those intending to read it, I'm also beginning to understand why some say her books bash men.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Although I read all the an idiot...decided to not be swayed and listen for myself. I've always like Terry McMillian and so in I dove. I also respect S Epatha Merkeson and couldn't be that bad....but's like a 1st grader reading. It's so verbatim with no alot of feeling. It's as if S Epatha is in pain when she reads trying to be so precise in the language. For may be WRITTEN. "And so I hung up the phone and took a little bit of a nap". The way it should be read (my opinion)...and so I hung up the phone and took a lil' nap. They read the words exactly as they are written, but NOT as they would actually speak. It's painful...and Terry McMillian as Savannah is NOT a good reader.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CIE
  • Chester, PA, United States
  • 01-12-11

Getting to Happy

If you saw the Movie, Waiting to Exhale, then you can follow along with this new story line. It was Great and I can't wait to see the Movie. Read and pass on to someone who travels a lot, they will love it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful