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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Transplanted from New Orleans in her youth, Betty Jean (BJ) is now a middle-aged, well-established Angeleno, living in a racially diverse working-class neighborhood with her share of heartaches and hardships. She works for room service at a hotel and cares for her husband, a former UPS driver, as he succumbs to Alzheimer's. Her oldest son, a doctor, maintains his distance from the hood, which has taken its toll on another son (incarcerated) and a daughter (drug-addicted). BJ is now stuck raising her daughter's two sons amid worries about crumbling schools and neighborhood drug-dealing and gangbanging. BJ's two sisters, Arlene and Venetia, are much better off economically but have their own marital and childrearing challenges. Tammy, BJ's best friend and longtime neighbor (the last remaining white person on the block), hangs in there for her friend, although she has plenty of problems of her own. Told from the perspectives of several of the characters, the novel offers an array of personalities and everyday life challenges within a story of close friends, family, and neighbors as they grow and change over many years. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The eighth novel from the best-selling author of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back will be supported by a major marketing campaign and a 15-city author tour.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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Three generations take a long hard look at each other-and, finding lots not to like, try to outrun, ignore, or beat the demons pulling them together in this well-crafted story of acceptance, forgiveness, and hope. McMillan (Waiting to Exhale) deftly weaves her tale of a black Los Angeles family's disharmony around the narratives of bickering sisters Betty Jean, Arlene, and Venetia as they watch their kids stumble into adulthood. BJ's drug-addled daughter, Trinetta-who lost custody of her baby girl-dumps two sons on her; meanwhile BJ's youngest son, Dexter, does prison time for a crime he won't admit to, and her eldest, Quentin, searches for himself. Arlene, a single mom who has a master's in psychology and harbors a painful secret, struggles with over-protecting her long-closeted gay son, Omar. And wealthy, God-fearing Venetia can't see what's plain to her spoiled kids and husband: that she's been ignoring her own needs and her crumbling marriage. Trinetta's strong-hearted kids lead the family back to each other-but McMillan's story belongs to the middle-aged steel magnolias who value loyalty above all. "I have prayed for all of us to come to our senses even though I know it's an ongoing process," Venetia says. "We're not getting any younger and family is family." Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Sept. 17) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.