Who Asked You?

Terry McMillan. Viking, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-670-78569-8
Three generations take a long hard look at each other—and, finding lots not to like, try to outrun, ignore, or beat the demons pulling them together in this well-crafted story of acceptance, forgiveness, and hope. McMillan (Waiting to Exhale) deftly weaves her tale of a black Los Angeles family’s disharmony around the narratives of bickering sisters Betty Jean, Arlene, and Venetia as they watch their kids stumble into adulthood. BJ’s drug-addled daughter, Trinetta—who lost custody of her baby girl—dumps two sons on her; meanwhile BJ’s youngest son, Dexter, does prison time for a crime he won’t admit to, and her eldest, Quentin, searches for himself. Arlene, a single mom who has a master’s in psychology and harbors a painful secret, struggles with over-protecting her long-closeted gay son, Omar. And wealthy, God-fearing Venetia can’t see what’s plain to her spoiled kids and husband: that she’s been ignoring her own needs and her crumbling marriage. Trinetta’s strong-hearted kids lead the family back to each other—but McMillan’s story belongs to the middle-aged steel magnolias who value loyalty above all. “I have prayed for all of us to come to our senses even though I know it’s an ongoing process,” Venetia says. “We’re not getting any younger and family is family.” Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Sept. 17)
Reviewed on: 07/22/2013
Release date: 09/17/2013
Mass Market Paperbound - 464 pages - 978-0-451-41703-9
Hardcover - 385 pages - 978-0-670-01586-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4829-2756-6
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-451-41702-2
Hardcover - 565 pages - 978-1-4104-6261-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4829-4424-2
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-1-61176-201-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-2757-3
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