Waiting to Exhale

"Times have damn sure changed. And I can't lie. now i worry. I worry about if and when I'll ever find the right man, if I'll ever be able to exhale. The more I try not to think about it, the more I think about it. This morning, I was drinking a cup of coffee, when it occurred to me that my life is half over. Never in a million years would i have ever believed that I would be thirty-six years old and still childless and single. But here I am." - Savannah

From Publishers Weekly

A racy, zesty, irreverent and absorbing book with broad mainstream appeal, McMillan's third novel (after Mama and Disappearing Acts ) tells the stories of four 30ish black women bound together in warm, supportive friendship and in their dwindling hopes of finding Mr. Right. Savannah, Bernadine, Robin and Gloria are successful professional or self-employed women living in Phoenix. All are independent, upwardly mobile and "waiting to exhale"--to stop holding their breaths waiting for the proper mate to come along. (Bernadine is married, but her husband walks out on her for a white woman as the novel opens.) They also share speech patterns that some readers may find disconcerting: they utter profanities with panache, unceasingly. Indeed, the novel's major drawback may be the number of times such words as shit , fuck and ass are repeated on every page. These women have a healthy interest in sex, while deploring the fact that most of the men they meet are arrogant, irresponsible and chronically unfaithful. Each character is drawn with authenticity and empathy, and McMillan pulls no punches about their collective bad judgment in choosing partners for romance. After many vicissitudes, two of the heroines find love, but until then McMillan keeps us constantly guessing about which members of her lively quartet will be thus rewarded. There's nothing stereotyped in her work here: it is fresh and engaging. 100,000 copy first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; first serial to Essence; BOMC and QPBC selections; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
 

From Library Journal

Like McMillan's previous novels, Disappearing Acts ( LJ 7/89) and Mama ( LJ 1/87), her new effort features a predictable plot, prose that often falls flat, and a narrative that lacks depth. Four African American women living in Phoenix devote most of their energies to searching for the one good black man who will make their dreams of the perfect partner and lover come true. Unsurprisingly, Savannah, Bernie, Gloria, and Robin all kiss several toads, but their trials and errors never arouse much interest. Far stronger is the author's sharp, often humorous depiction of the strong bonds among the four friends, their relationships with their families, and their community activities; readers will regret that McMillan did not develop these areas further. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/92.
- Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.