Its Not All Downhill From Here #BookReview

Terry McMillan | March 2020 | 355pp

After a sudden change of plans, a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends try to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life.

Loretha Curry’s life is full. On the eve of her sixty-eighth birthday, she has a booming beauty supply empire, a gaggle of lifelong friends, and a husband who’s still got moves that surprise. True, she’s carrying a few more pounds than she should be, but she’s not one of those women who thinks her best days are behind her, and she’s determined to prove her mother, her twin sister, and everyone else with that outdated view of aging wrong—it’s not all downhill from here.

But when an unexpected loss turns her world upside down, Loretha will have to summon all her strength, resourcefulness, and determination to keep on thriving, pursue joy, heal old wounds, and chart new paths. With a little help from her friends, of course.

My Experience:

In my opinion, Terry McMillan has been writing about the same character since “Stella Got Her Groove Back”. The character, Stella, just keeps aging. McMillan just switches the problematic kids out for different ones, in each story. 🤦🏾‍♀️ This could be interpreted as her writing what she knows: attractive, black, 50 something divorce’, very financially stable, typically supporting leechy family which is a source of drama, independent, sexy and wanting to be sexed. Kids are grown, likely spoiled and problematic. Surrounded by friends of varying sizes and stability with spoiled, problematic children of their own. Stella lives on. Last we saw her she was optometrist, Dr. Georgia Young in 2016’s, “I Almost Forgot About You”. If you haven’t read it, please do. Georgia has a bit of a midlife crisis, quits her job to reupholster furniture and in an attempt to fix herself and find true love, tracks down past love interests and deep dives ‘what happened?’ Throw in a celebrated birthday and problematic children, of course.

In this one, Stella is Loretha ‘Lo’ Curry, 68-ish, married to super husband and entrepreneur Carl. Lo, herself, owns several rental properties and 2 successful beauty supply stores in town. Together they have 2 children: a son living in Japan with his family and an alcoholic daughter that moves from pillar to post. Odessa is the leechy sister that seems to tetter on homelessness most of the time. Supporting cast includes all of Lo’s girlfriends with varying entertaining issues of their own.

Pros: I guess if the formula ain’t broke, dont fix it. McMillan continues to paint a realistic and beautifully textured image of an upper middle class, single, sexual, black woman. We matter. Stories about black woman not pressed in poverty and abuse and their traumatic loops and baggage is refreshing! Hell, this story throws in a ‘good black husband’. (“Thats a good man Savannah!” circa Waiting to Exhale. Sorry. Couldn’t resist! 😏)

Cons: Eh, Stella’s aging out. She’s turning 68 at this birthday celebration. I’ll be interested to read McMillan’s next book. How, or even will, she reset the clock?

I grew up with Terry and all her characters. I remember when they were young, sexy and broke (Disappearing Acts) and Im glad she’s still writing about black love, families and friendships. I will always pick up her books! Goodbook 24 of 42.

2 Comments

  1. Haven’t read this one yet but sounds like I need too. You’re right if the story isn’t broke why fix it lol. I love that she always focuses on a “seasoned” black women 🙂

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