Please note that I gave this book 4.5 stars, but rounded it up to 5 stars on Goodreads.
I liked this one much better than "Getting to Happy". I was so disappointed because that whole book felt like a shallow sequel to some truly memorable characters. In her latest, McMillan does what she does best. She focuses on one character, her family, and where she wants to be in her life now that she is about to be 55 and realizing that the path she chose may not be what she really needs in the end.
Georgia Young is an optometrist living in San Francisco and wondering why is she in a huge house by herself. Twice divorced, and single for a couple of years, Georgia is wondering if now is a good time to pull up stakes and start doing something new. She has two adult daughters who don't seem to need her as much, and her mother has a new romance she is fixated on. While talking to one of her best friends, Georgia then starts to reminisce about the men in her past and wondering what became of them. Doing what most people would not dare to do, Georgia decides to revisit her past relationships in the hope that it can show her what she needs to do in order to move on to the next phase of her life.
I loved the character of Georgia a lot. She tried very hard not to stick her nose into her daughters business without being asked. And you could see how much she wanted to say some things too. Also Georgia's two best friends Wanda and Violet were a trip. Getting to follow Georgia as she looks at her past relationships and even looks back at what happened in her two marriages was really interesting too.
I thought that McMillan did a great job with developing most of the secondary characters, except for Violet. I did not get what her deal was and why anyone was even friends with her. Especially when some things about her came to light in the end.
Having Georgia go back to former relationships I thought was great. Even when I thought she should leave well enough and not be bothered by some of them. Heck sometimes people's past should stay there in the past. That said, I liked how if you were paying attention, you could tell that one of these guys (not saying who) was going to be more important than the other ones. I was glad to see that I was right too. And I liked how Terry McMillan flipped what people were thinking the story was going to go.
I thought the writing was really good. I thinks sticking with one character throughout the story really helped and we didn't have to worry about popping in and out of other people's heads. I also laughed a bunch of times while reading this. Probably because some of Georgia's interactions with her family and friends reminded me of how I act when I am with my family and friends. And when we get to Georgia finally taking her long awaited train trip, I laughed a lot. In fact I had to re-read that section like three times. I think McMillan has traveled by train and is not feeling it.
I thought the flow was pretty good throughout, though I thought the whole she must sell her home subplot really dragged sometimes. Sometimes the story would jump ahead weeks or a few months and I would go, wait what just happened.
The setting of San Francisco was utilized really well. I loved San Francisco when I visited years ago, and can't imagine trying to move from there to go anywhere else.
The ending was satisfying, but I wish that the epilogue had been a bit longer to wrap things up even more. It was just enough to tell us what happened to key people. However, I wanted more details.