Terry McMillan before then. The title intrigued me. I opened it and the narrator lived in Denver. I lived in Denver! She worked in PR. I worked in PR! I bought it. I took it home and sank into it like a warm bath. I probably didn't exhale once that whole year after my mother's death, but this was one of the books that made me think that one day in the future I would.
I remember later when the movie came out. I was with my stepmother and my Latina sister-in-law in Killen, TX and we were so excited as we got in the line. All of us, white, black, Latina, in groups of friends and relatives, were eager to see a movie about grown women and grown woman stuff.
I never would have guessed back then that I too would be a novelist. I never would have guessed the book I bought (and then, of course, went back and bought Mama, Disappearing Acts, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and all the rest) was opening a career door for me and dozens (hundreds?) like me.
Today the sequel is out. And reading it is like visiting with old friends you haven't seen in a long time. And just like real life old friends, these women made me laugh, made me sad, made me frustrated (I'm talking to you Savannah!) and, yes, made me happy. I'm curious to see how Getting to Happy will do in the current book-selling environment. I'm hoping the audience that Terry helped create will show up big for this one. I'm hoping that all those women who stood in line to see the movie version of Waiting to Exhale will show up in bookstores for this visit with some old friends. (You can follow Terry on Facebook and Twitter too.)
Anyone else care to share their experience of the Waiting to Exhale phenomenon? You buying Getting to Happy? You are, right? Right?