A Day Late and a Dollar
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A Day Late and a Dollar

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  4,576 ratings  ·  172 reviews
The long-awaited tour-de-force novel of family and redemption by the bestselling author, Terry McMillan.
Audio, 5 pages
Published January 15th 2001 by Penguin Audio (first published December 29th 2000)
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Donna Bennett
The book is funny in parts and Viola is a great character. All of the characters are well-written and their individual stories are very familiar in today's world. The mother begins telling the story. She then describes her (family) husband, children, and grandchildren in a way that only a mother, wife, and grandmother can. It was downright hilarious. To my surprise,however, the husband and children tell their opinions on the family and themselves. When you see how the family sees a person as opp...more
Nardsbaby Reader
DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY soooooooooooo real life

None of us are flawless and no one wants to read how honky dory life is for someone else. In A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT, you find a family boggled down with secrets, infidelity, rape/molestation, drug abuse, teen sex, sexuality and envy. This is everyone's family! Where did this woman emerge from? McMillan has captivated me with every single book! Not one complaint and I am hoping that she continues to write and continues to create characters that p...more
Raychelle Muhammad
Admittedly, I am late to the party. I recently finished Terry McMillan's A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Penguin, 2002) and enjoyed it from cover to cover. There is no question that Ms. McMillan is a gifted storyteller and this work certainly does not disappoint. I am partial to stories which examine family dynamics, confront their inherent dysfunction, and lead the characters along the road to redemption. A Day Late more than delivered on my expectations.

Each chapter is narrated by one of the ma...more
Janelle
First let me start off by saying that when I opened up this book to find an extended family tree on the first two pages, I immediately became a little nervous. No one wants to interrupt their reading experience by constantly referring to the legend at the front of the book.

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to.

In A Day Late and A Dollar Short, Terry McMillan paints the picture of a dysfunctional family just trying to make it day by day. There’s Viola, the matriarch, who starts the book off by sufferi...more
Renee
I'm sorry - I can't finish this book. The characters are all basically unlikeable folks who "explain themselves" - which means giving excuses why their lives and their children are so screwed up. Essentially, they make one bad decision after another.

While this type of book might resonate with another audience, I just find it tedious & depressing.
Antof9
OK -- I'll admit I didn't like the vast majority of the book. However, once I got to the end, I was much happier :) Every chapter is written in the first person by the Mom, the Dad, or one of their 4 children. Obviously this makes it a little difficult to figure out who is talking, especially at the beginning when you're trying to sort them all out. It's an interesting study on families, and how they get along or don't get along, but all love each other. I love how the mother is truly the tradit...more
Leander Grogan
A provocative look at family relationships....
With this book, I had trouble with the style of writing. Here are 3 sentences:

------

- How come don't nobody ever believe me when I tell the truth? I can't hardly ball up my fist, my knuckles is so swollen.

- It ain't no reason why we gotta settle for being middle-class when we can move into a whole 'nother income bracket if we just pick up the pace.

- "Damn" is all I can say, but what's really on my mind is how I'ma get out to their house to put my foo...more
Jeannie Turicik
This is one of those books you just simply do not want to end--the characters in this family were so alive--sometimes you just wanted to jump in an help them. Mama was a colorful personality, not warm and fuzzy, but very loving nonetheless. It was a family which had grown apart with the pressures of every day life--but never stopped loving each other--and even though they didn't realize it until the end--their need for each other only increased. Highly recommend reading this book!
Laura
Good to listen to because of the dialects. Well defined characters, but I didn't enjoy them all, so I found myself getting tense when certain characters were speaking. Somewhat predictable, but enjoyable to listen to.
Rose Forbes
One of the best books i have ever read in my life. I love how the stories intertwined each other. the characters are so real... so vivid... i love that book and considering reading it again.
Stanjay Daniels
I was truly truly impressed by this book! This was the first book that I've read from Terry McMillan and I'm very glad that I got the opportunity to read it. This book was truly a gift in that it showed me several things: Tell people that you love them, tomorrow is not promised to everyone, you don't have to be superwoman or superman trying to save everything and everyone and everyone makes mistake; dust yourself off and try again. Terry's writing style was excellent, it kept me engaged from cov...more
Shev
I loved! this book. It shows how a family can fall apart simply because of their unwillingness to communicate ... all it takes is a few words to bring them back together.
Carolynne
Viola narrates the first part of the book, and the reader of this audiobook did a fine job with Viola's story. I could really relate to Viola (a character only two years older than I am currently) discussing her distress with her grown children; worrying about events in their lives and wanting them to be happy.

As soon as the story switched to Cecil (and a new, male reader), I stopped enjoying it. I don't know whether it was the writing or the narrator, but I had to stop listening. Perhaps this b...more
Carolyn Hammond
Very well written, honest characters, loved everything about it. I enjoyed this book because I thought the characters seemed real. Maybe over the top at times, but that's life. I liked each chapter written by a different character so I got to know each one deeply. Each had their own complex personality. I especially liked Mama because she tried to deal with each of her children as an individual. In spite of their flaws each character has redeeming characteristics. I read the book and then watche...more
Evelyn
Asthmatic family matriarch Viola Price recounts her life, including her estranged husband Cecil and their four children, as she is being treated in intensive care. One of my favorite quotes from Viola: `Some people got stuff that can top ours....look at the Kennedys.`

Each character's viewpoint is told in a first person narrative in succesive chapters. With great, fully developed characters, this is McMillan's best book yet. Highly recommended. I listened to the audio version of the book and it...more
Tania
I really got into this book in the beginning. I loved all the characters, and I appreciated the alternating narrators. The technique gave the reader a much more rounded perspective on the characters and their life situations. In general, this is a well written, engaging novel with a great deal of interesting things to say about the ties that bind families together. It's definitely worth reading. The some of the characters are terrific. I thought Vy was a riot, and I loved her relationship with h...more
Angelica
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Ice
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Kimberly
A Day Late and A Dollar Short is the type of book that makes you feel so many different things: proud, because you're happy that Terry McMillan is so adept at 'telling it like it is', telling 'our' stories, and making our story everyone else's too; sad, because when you're reading about the problems of these characters, you realize they are so much like your own; and warm, because a book like this helps steer our busy lives back to what's most important in life, such as family.
While reading this...more
Joe
I adore Terry McMillan and am proud of the niche she is carving for up and coming Black writers. She has a fresh, breezy and flowing writing style that sucks you in and carries you along through the trials and tribulations of her wonderfully real characters. 'A Day Late and A Dollar Short', following on the disappointing heels of 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back', is one of those magnificent reads.
I won't go into the plotlines of the different characters as other reviewers have done so already. E...more
Tina
This story is about the Price family. We get to meet them, warts and all, chapter by chapter. The first chapter introduces us to Viola, the matriarch of the family. Viola, in the hospital suffering from a massive asthma attack, is wearied and worried by her spouse and her offspring. In her first-person narrative voice that instantly evokes reminiscences of listening to my own grandmother's southern-black-English argot, we get to hear from Viola's perspective the strengths and weaknesses of her f...more
Fischwife
This was an inexpensive beach read for me. I purchased the book for 50 cents at a discard sale, which is what I like to do with books to bring to the beach. I didn't have high expectations for it, and it exceeded those expectations, although I did get tired of the book's characters, and I found it, and them, to be fairly predictable.
kisha
I normally dont like Terry McMillan's work because she curses too much and she's the only author I know that write books where the movie is better. But, She did the darn thing with this one. I loved this book. I've read it five times. Two times back to back and I very rarely read the same book twice. There is someone in this family that mirrors a person in your own family for each of her characters. This family saga is a must read. You will find yourself not wanting to put it down and work, slee...more
Ronda Green
this is a awesome book it made me laugh and it made me cry this is the kind of book I could read everyday all day good book MS McMillian also I've read some of your other books they are awesome all you are just a great writer keep doing what you are doing you will always have my vote......
Debbie
I really enjoyed "A Day Late and a Dollar Short" by Terry McMillan. Her use of voice and the character development are powerful. The plot lines were intriguing and kept me reading late into the night. I would highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more works by this author. Contains a lot of profanity.
Geeta
It was a long read for me. Too much drama by each character. The family described is so dysfunctional that a major death in the family cannot bring the siblings together, sad. But a few months of therapy or soul searching and a letter left by the dead family member brings all the siblings together. Doesn't make sense to me. Reason I kept the book aside for a bit was because of the slang languauge used. Seems like there is no other way or better words to describe a character's frustration or temp...more
Cris
This was an easy read. I read it so quickly it almost felt like a long short story. A family story that covers a short period of time (a year maybe, I don't remember) but with each character telling it from their point of view you get a pretty complete albeit not in depth picture of the family dynamic. At times predictable it was still enjoyable. I did like the dialog simply because I enjoy reading with accents and slang etc. It gives the story some texture which it needed. There were some very...more
Ashleigh Milligan
I did not want to like this book. I literally found it on the shelf at a b&b and read it in a single poorly-air-conditioned sleepless July night. But it was real enough to be compelling, not annoying and commercial as so often is the case with similar books.
♥T♥I♥N♥K♥E♥R♥B♥E♥L♥L
Dec 18, 2007 ♥T♥I♥N♥K♥E♥R♥B♥E♥L♥L rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody who is interested in GOOD BOOKS
A day late and a dollar short is a book about a lady who realizes her mistakes after she has made them. Not only that, but her children, who are now grown, have affects on that too. All her children have children except for one of her sons. She wants her grandchildren to have the best and highest of the highest education, and she don't want them to make the mistakes she made nor the mistakes their parrents made.
The authors main purpose of this book is for all adults to realize that just becaus...more
Nicole C
Like so many black families. So so many. Funny, snarky, and full of love. Will make you smile, and move you to a few tears. The family matriarch, Viola Price has the spirit of all mothers. A great read.
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Terry McMillan is an African-American author. Her interest in books comes from working at a library when she was sixteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 from the University of California at Berkeley. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists.

Her first book, Mama, was self-promoted. She achieved national attention in 1992 with her third novel, Waiting to Exhale, which remai...more
More about Terry McMillan...
Disappearing Acts Waiting to Exhale Mama How Stella Got Her Groove Back Getting to Happy

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“don't sabotage your own greatness by succumbing to failure!” 23 likes
“happiness aint got no Ph.D. or no certain amount of zeroes behind it!” 14 likes
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