How Stella Got Her Groove Back

The New York Times Bestseller

"But I'm tired of jumping up. Tired of running. I would like to be able to just sit there with my son without moving without wishing I were somewhere else doing something else without about something else and i'd like to just hold his hand or ut my arm around his narrow shoulders because I know in a few more years he won't want me to sit on the couch with him and watch anything and he probably won't want me to touch him." 



1999 Jonathan Exley

From Publishers Weekly

Her readers may be surprised that, after the gritty, tell-it-as-it-is Mama and Waiting to Exhale, McMillan has now written a fairy tale. Her "forty-fucking-two-year-old" heroine, divorcee Stella Payne, possesses a luxurious house and pool in northern California, a lucrative job as a security analyst, a BMW and a truck, a personal trainer and an adorable 11-year- old son-but no steady guy.

On a whim, Stella decides to vacation in Jamaica, and she narrates the ensuing events in a revved-up voice, naked of punctuation, that alternates between high-voltage energy and erotic languor. Romance comes to Stella under tropical skies-but there's a problem. Gorgeous, seductive Winston, the chef-trainee with whom she enjoys passionate sex (explicitly detailed), is shockingly young: he's not quite 21. Naturally, Stella wonders if he really loves her; endless soul-searching and a few tepid complications occupy the remainder of the narrative.

When Stella loses her job, it's no sweat; she has enough savings to maintain her lifestyle. When fate throws two other gorgeous men her way, she immediately decides they are boring and isn't tempted for a minute. Meanwhile, her intense preoccupation with feminine deodorant sprays and the smell of women's public bathrooms is rather strange, to say the least. McMillan's expletive-strewn narrative accommodates such musings, however, and readers who have been yearning for a Judith Krantz of the black bourgeoisie-albeit one with a dirty mouth and a more ebullient spirit-will be pleased with this fantasy of sexual fulfillment.

100,000 first printing; major ad/ promo; first serial rights to People and Essence; BOMC main selection; film rights to 20th Century Fox; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Directed by Rodney Kevin-Smith

In "How Stella Got Her Grove Back," we watch Angela Bassett as the lead character, a woman trying to put pleasure back in her duty-driven life, fall in love with a Jamaican man 20 years her junior, struggle with her own notions of love with a younger man, only to endure searing commentary from her family.

Read The Review Here

-Venise Wagner SF Examiner