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Disappearing Acts

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  11,094 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
He was tall, dark as bittersweet chocolate, and impossibly gorgeous, with a woman-melting smile. She was pretty and independent, petite and not too skinny, just his type. Franklin Swift was a sometimes-employed construction worker, and a not-quite-divorced daddy of two. Zora Banks was a teacher, singer, songwriter. They met in a Brooklyn brownstone, and there could be no w ...more
Paperback, Reissue edition, 464 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by New American Library (first published August 21st 1989)
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Community Reviews

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"Waiting to Exhale" received all of the acclaim and is the book that changed the face of publishing to a significant degree as the industry suddenly realized that African Americans read too, and sometimes even like to read about fictional characters who remind them of themselves. But in my opinion this is Ms. McMillan's strongest novel. It's easy to become immersed in her work, forgetting that you're reading and instead envisioning yourself as a fly on the wall easedropping on lives that seem as ...more
Kaylah Turner
Oct 01, 2008 Kaylah Turner rated it it was amazing
I’m reviewing the book Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan. It’s a fictional book about a black woman and man who struggle with society’s views, relationships, and life in general.

Disappearing Acts is based on the everyday struggles of a black woman Zora, and man Franklin, living in New York during the 80’s. Franklin is a tall handsome handyman who works construction. He’s very intelligent, but knows that means little when your black and a high school dropout. Franklin feels no one will ever gi
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Franklin's tired of women, tired of trouble. He's young, he's six-feet-four and he likes to pump iron. But his ex-wife's riding him for money to keep their two children, and there's no security in construction work. Not in New York anyway, and especially not if you're black. All Franklin really wants is to stay together, stay in work and, most of all, stay out of love.

And Zora. She's a music teacher, fresh from Ohio, looking for that one big break as a singer-songwriter. She's going to
Dec 02, 2009 Tuesday rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
This book started off pretty good. Kept me interested and coming back for more. I am mid way through the book and I find myself having to motivate myself to continue on. I so want to put this book down and start a new one but I have decide that my New Year's resolution for 2010 is to finish what I start. There is no better time than the present to make a lifestyle change. But this book is making me regret that change.

It is way too mushy for my taste. And Zora is a pathetic fool who is madly in l
a. chigozie
Jan 09, 2015 a. chigozie rated it liked it
I liked that Terry McMillan dived right into the storyline. And the fact that it was a romance pulled me right in. But I won't lie, I spent most of the time trying to figure out when Zora was going to leave Franklin for good. It didn't seem like Zora and Franklin had a lot of good times and he was so insufferable. Throughout most of the book I wondered why they Zora was still dealing with him. I wasn't committed to their relationship or "love" and for must of the book wondered where the romance ...more
Aug 08, 2007 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm not really a Terry McMillan fan, but I really admired this book. I thought it was a pretty honest portrayal of the progression of a romantic relationship-- first you're enamored; then you're disillusioned, sometimes to the point of being disturbed; then, maybe, you find your way back to each other. It's not an uncommon storyline, but the way she exposes her characters' darker (yet utterly mundane) side is pretty unusual in fiction.
Feb 07, 2010 Meave rated it really liked it
It was a pretty book. Yes, I said pretty NOT pretty good or pretty bad.. just pretty. Like you would call a person pretty. I hated the ending by the way.. after all I went through (via the character's lives)... by the end... I wasn't SOO satisfied with the outcome. But the story was nice. Terry McMillan is ON POINT!
Feb 10, 2009 Kadedra rated it liked it
The Disappearing Acts

The Disappearing Acts is a realistic fiction novel by Terry Mcmillan. The theme of the book is to not let a man corrupt your personal beliefs and decisions. The Disappearing Acts mainly focuses on Zora an aspiring singer who meets a man named Franklin, who is not so stable but she falls in love wit him. Zora moves to New York to try and get her singing career started and Franklin was one of the contractors working on some renovations in her new apartment. They begin dating
Sep 26, 2013 D.L. rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge-2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie Lynn
Nov 21, 2010 Bonnie Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Disappearing Acts is the only book I've read by this author. What made me enjoy the book so thoroughly was the way the characters were developed in alternating chapters, each describing an incident as reflected by his/her point of view. As time passes and their relationship inevitably changes, I found myself carried along - then caring about - what happened to these two people. It didn't matter to me whether I agreed with one or the other, was annoyed with or, at times, irritated by both. Be it ...more
Elise-Pinterest+Goodreads=The Perfect Book Boyfriend
Read this book around 1991-92 after reading an except of it in an Essence magazine. Back then, no one knew Terry McMillan so the book was very hard to find (at least hard to find in Birmingham LOL). I thoroughly enjoyed the book and still consider it one of her best. I think that it would still be a great read, however, there are events, people and places in the book that will date it (Stephanie Mills was still recording and touring). The movie, which I was so excited about, was, like most books ...more
Nov 13, 2012 yole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My question to Zora does Franklin deserve your love?

The story line resonates with me. Franklin and Zora are untangled in this web of disappointment, deception, abuse, and love. Although they both aware of declining of their relationship, they decided to weather the storm. The final outcome is to do your homework before getting deeply involve in a relationship.

Oct 01, 2014 Melissa rated it it was ok
Too many p@&$!, d@&$, and mf's for my taste. Franklin appeared to be your average 'mad at the white man' black man who put his blame on everyone else. Zora, a successful woman struggling to love him, but at the same time settling for a man that added to her hardships instead of helping her get to where she was trying to go...
Tracy Elizabeth
May 10, 2012 Tracy Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
This book, from the moment I picked it up, I was unable to put down. It was GREAT, TERRIFIC, AMAZING, I can barely find words to fit this beautiful book. Filled with betrayal, anger, pride, and love, this book amazed me. I didn't even want to return it to the library. THis book is beautiful, it's really a work of art.
Sep 01, 2008 Bea rated it it was ok
Franklin is just pathetic and whiny and needy and frustrating and selfish and Zora was just stupid to stick around with him for so long! I flew through this book waiting for Zora to get her act together and was PISSED at the end when she let the loser back into her life!
Jocelyn Boffman green
Jan 01, 2016 Jocelyn Boffman green rated it it was amazing
One of the first books I read in high school. I always enjoyed reading the work of Terry and her sister.
Lisa Harris
Apr 06, 2009 Lisa Harris rated it did not like it
This is another typical McMillan novel. I just couldn't get my mind around these characters. At a certain point sympathy turns to pity.
Nov 23, 2014 Marva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book so much. Easily my favorite by Terry McMillan.
Jun 11, 2012 Sandra rated it it was amazing
I think this is the best written of Terry McMillan's books.
Dec 25, 2016 Ahayes rated it really liked it
Unlike Waiting to Exhale, this book has depth, and the characters exude real passion. McMillan does a great job of developing a narrative of two complex people who are searching for the missing link that haunts them...and their attempts to satisfy their desire for each other.
Feb 10, 2008 Raquel rated it it was amazing
Loved it! The movie is among my favorites...among the first movies I ever owned (Dirty Dancing was the all time favorite was a gift). I have it on VHS and whenever I'm in the mood, AND one of my VCRs is wired correctly, I watch it. It's out on DVD now, so I'll need to hook that up. This film was the beginning of my love of Sanaa Lathan (Zora), and with the name "Zora". I already knew and loved Zora Neale Hurston, but never considered naming my potential future daughter that ...more
Nancy Regan
Jan 22, 2016 Nancy Regan rated it liked it
Franklin is a gifted builder, a passionate artist in wood, and so it's natural that he would frame his dream as pulling together a foundation for the rest of his life. Zora has the kind of voice that made all the worshipers at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Toledo "feel glad to be alive". She yearns to find a wider audience, and not only for her singing. When Zora, who's looking to save money by moving out of Manhattan, stops by an almost-renovated Brooklyn apartment that's for rent, she finds Fr ...more
Black Carrie
Oct 30, 2015 Black Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This happens to be my favorite book by Ms.McMillan ***I've read every book by her*** I still remember reading it like it was yesterday the movie was good too. Zora seemed like the perfect ambitious woman who met the wrong man (kind of sorta) don't get me wrong Franklin was a good guy too I just believe he could have done better by Zora and his baby. I fell in love with Zora from the movie & the book I did not find out about the movie until I was done with the book and I believe the casting w ...more
"Disappearing Acts" is the epitome of what happens to women (and men) when we don't ask the potential relationship question "What does he/she bring to the table other than good looks and great sex?" In the case of Zora and Franklin, this unanswered question brought about chaos into what was once an orderly focused existence (and oh yeah, a baby to make things interesting) .

Zora, college graduate/music teacher/middle class and Franklin, high school drop-out/baby daddy of two/blue collar, meet inn
Dec 18, 2007 ♥T♥I♥N♥K♥E♥R♥B♥E♥L♥L rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: amybody who think they are all that and needs a wake up call
The main point of this book is for a girl to relaize that what glitter is not always gold. Also, it shows or portrays a moral life of a young girl who does not know what she want. The setting of this book is in Brooklyn, New York on teh east side. Zyra decides she wants to do better so she moves into a new apartment and meets Frankie. Her and Frankie start a terminal realtionship, and decides to have intercourse. After the first couple of intercourse's, she gets pregnant, kills her baby nad dec ...more
Danielle Sheppard
The "Disappearing Act" is basically an Urban love story,novel provides a realistic portrayal of a relationship between a black man and woman struggling to find their place in life separately and together. The disappearing act is written in the first person, its Zora and Franklin's point of view, And different events in their relationship over the course of two and a half years. Franklin is a construction worker, and a carpenter who never graduated from high school. The subjects of this novel is ...more
A.T. Hicks
Jan 25, 2013 A.T. Hicks rated it really liked it
Shelves: delicious
Despite Waiting to Exhale being her breakout hit, Disappearing Acts is actually my favorite novel by Terry McMillan. I loved the raw intensity of the relationship between the main character and her construction worker take-no-prisoners boyfriend.

The best thing about this book: it was swimming in uncharted waters for black female authors at the time. But she did something even more profound--she introduced black women to chick lit!

Peaches and the Gambler (#1) by A.T. Hicks
Brittany Jamison
Dec 11, 2012 Brittany Jamison rated it it was amazing
Picked this up at random and was imediately hooked. Possibly cliche, but I was from the beginning. McMillan writes a wonderfully complex story about love and people and relationships that really does suck in the reader. Her characters are comlpilcated and flawed yet you care about them and their relationship. It definately reads "like a movie" and I haven't had that feeling about a novel in a long time. Especially enjoyed McMillan's writing style and her skill at crafting people and places and e ...more
Oct 23, 2009 Pamm rated it liked it
I could personally relate to this book because I have witnessed similar situations in the my own African American family. The relationship forged between Zora & Franklin appears to be ideal on the outside but soon problems emerge. Franklin's ups and down's with work as a construction worker begin to eat away at him and the abuse he suffered from his childhood begins to surface through his depressed moods and his hostile anger. Zora and Franklin have to grow their issues. This was an easy to ...more
Michelle Robinson
Mar 26, 2010 Michelle Robinson rated it really liked it
Recommended to Michelle by: I found it after reading MAMA by the same author.
McMillan's novel was so descriptive that I felt as if I could know these people.

I was alternately angry with Zora and Franklin. I realized that the lives described here were so real that I have witnessed these very dynamics in relationships.

This book was far better than either "Stella" as was another earlier work of McMillan, "Mama". That book was one of the best books that I ever read. This was a close second. I honestly believe that McMillian's earlier books were better than her later more com
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Terry McMillan is an African-American author. Her interest in books comes from working at a library when she was fourteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 from the University of California at Berkeley and the MFA Film Program at Columbia University. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists.

Her first book, Mama, was self-promoted. She achieved national attention in 1992 wit
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“Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy – if not less of it – doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do.” 2694 likes
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