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." 

-from HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK

 

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.

Review of HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK

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