One Better

Rosalyn McMillan, Author Warner Books $21.5 (416p) ISBN 978-0-446-52242-7
At first glance, the cast of McMillan's soap-operatic second novel (after Knowing) might belong in a Cosby Show spinoff: Spice Witherspoon is a successful restaurateur and philanthropist, and her elder daughter, an airline pilot, is a pioneer in a field traditionally hostile to black women. But not all is well in their suburban life. Spice's resentful younger daughter is hooked on drugs and bad men, and all three women must struggle to find love, acceptance, happiness and sexual fulfillment in a world that expects them to fail. Their lives are filled with as much disappointment as success, the most poignant having to do with their relationships to one another. Unfortunately, McMillan never develops these women beyond stereotypes, slips into gooeyness at the first stirrings of sex and too often seems seduced by the surface glamour--even the brand names--that entrance her most troubled characters. In its all-out effort to establish the Witherspoons' bourgeois status, the plot leaves too many questions unanswered. It's never clear how the restaurant grew from a mom-and-pop joint into an $8-million business, or how Spice's older daughter became an airline pilot despite competition from people with twice her experience--or why a savvy, self-respecting businesswoman like Spice would hop into bed with a treacherous young employee. There's no shortage of confrontational scenes, startling revelations or earthshaking sex; what's missing from this novel is the fiber that could turn these characters into people, their stories into lives. Simultaneous Time Warner audio. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-446-60599-1
Hardcover - 736 pages - 978-1-56865-511-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57042-544-8
Paperback - 978-0-446-16663-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-446-92028-5
Ebook - 978-0-446-40599-7
Ebook - 978-0-7595-1903-9
Ebook - 978-0-446-93031-4
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-0-7595-9374-9
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-446-96056-4
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-446-58758-7
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