Monday, September 16, 2013

#BookReview: Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan

Stella got her groove back and so did Terry!  After the less than stellar novels, The Interruption of Everything and Getting to Happy, it seems that McMillan is finally back on track.  With writing as refreshing as when we first read her words with Mama, it would seem that the cloud that's hung over McMillan's writing has finally lifted.

As always, the main character is a black woman carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, but B.J. (short for Betty Jean) isn't letting it weigh her down.  Sure, she has down days and sad moments, but you get the feeling from the beginning that she's going to be just fine in the long run.  It's been awhile since a McMillan book has given me a character that has a happy ending that they actually seem happy about.

Everyone wanted a piece of me and barely left me with a little crust.

B.J. is dealing with a trifling daughter, a sick husband, a soon to be released from prison son and a son that thinks he's better than everyone else, including the parents that raised him.  In typical McMillan style, sibling rivalry plays a role in the book and B.J. has to deal with her holier than thou sister, Venetia, and her smarter than thou sister, Arlene.  Each sister is dealing with her own set of problems and, through them, McMillan manages to touch on several issues that play roles in present day lives.

Every character in this novel has a voice, so the reader doesn't have to wonder what is going on in their story line and doesn't have to read it second hand from another character.  By doing that, McMillan draws the readers deeper into the story and ensures that they're invested in all of the characters, not just the main ones.  Where the "happiness" in her two previous works felt forced, by the time I got to the end of Who Asked You?, I felt like B.J. was truly happy with her lot in life.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I'm glad to see McMillan back on track.

Published: September 2013
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.

Theme: Life My Blues by Sherry Dyanne

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