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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,042 Ratings  ·  202 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Donna Bennett
Feb 26, 2013 Donna Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Marlene Banks
Oct 22, 2014 Marlene Banks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the style of storytelling Terry McMillan used in this novel. Getting each character's POV of the other characters was a unique strategy. Good show, Terry. The story was gritty and real in demonstrating how family life often goes. I appreciated that aspect. There was a bit too much foul language in it for my taste although I know people do talk like that. I just felt too many of these characters were spouting curse words unnecessarily but that's my personal objection. Viola spoke o ...more
Jul 30, 2010 Janelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
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
Mansuriah Hassan
No family is perfect. We argue. We fight. And even at times we stopped talking to each other. But in the end, family is always family. The love will always be there :)

This is a family saga. The author, introduces the reader to Viola Price and her family and instantly you are part it. You shout, cry and laugh with them and in certain parts you want to shake sense into them and shout 'get over it and move on!' but then you realize that they need to discover things for themselves before they can do
Jun 07, 2010 Renee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 04, 2009 Antof9 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Ary Chest
Jul 09, 2016 Ary Chest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god, this novel was one wild ride. Terry McMillan should win a trophy for best family drama.

The premise is an unwanted family reunion when the matriarch of the Price family, Viola, is hospitalized. This comes at a time when her soon to be ex husband and kids are in the midst of major turning points in their lives.

This novel is tricky to pull off because most of it is inner monologues and flashbacks. But it works because each voice is written so distinctly and convincingly. I love authors
Jeannie Turicik
Sep 15, 2009 Jeannie Turicik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sep 17, 2014 Riya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy crapoli this could pretty much be any family in America! A Day Late and a Dollar Short is an insightful read that explores instead of exploiting family drama. I love how McMillan used a different narrator in every chapter. In this way she was able to show every perspective. The contrast and contradiction created by this kind of narration really sparked me to think more about underlying issues that ultimately explain why people do what they do. I guess lets just say a few parts hit really cl ...more
Michelle Jackson
This book was amazing and the movie did not do it justice. The cast was well done but the screenplay left much to be desired. The ending left me saddened but at least the family reconciled and got to the root of their issues.
Aug 26, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2010 Rose Forbes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2014 Stanjay Daniels rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2011 Shev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 18, 2014 Leeann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A Day Late and A Dollar Short" is hands down the best novel I have had the pleasure of reading so far in my LIFE! To date, the novel is the only one to cause me to shed tears.

I've said it before, and I will say it again. Terry McMillan, like all other authors, does not write for everyone. In order to understand where she comes from, keep an open mind if you are clueless. And for the readers that know how life is, just read and relate.

A Day Late and A Dollar Short does not disappoint at all.

Dec 31, 2014 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a nutshell, I liked it. It wasn't the best read ever, but certainly not the worst. This is the first book I've read by McMillan. I usually don't read books like this; by this, I mean these more contemporary type black novels. By not being the best, I mean that it wasn't some deep story with a dynamic plot filled with twists and turns. It doesn't contain any surprising outcomes that I didn't expect. However, it was just a plain ol' good story about a very relatable, ordinary, black family expe ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to it on CD. It took me a little while to get the characters into my head and heart, but then it happened. I think listening to the book being read made them real to me. They are all flawed, have made mistakes and regret them, but they are family.

I enjoyed this book with its its twists and turns as the family tries again and again to piece itself back together. Each crisis exposes strengths and weaknesses. Each resolution moves the family closer in some way.

Good book. Universal less
Jun 04, 2014 Carolynne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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
Carolyn Hammond
May 09, 2014 Carolyn Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 17, 2011 Tania rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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May 11, 2010 Ice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2008 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 28, 2007 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
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
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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
More about Terry McMillan...

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“don't sabotage your own greatness by succumbing to failure!” 30 likes
“life is like a jigsaw puzzle, you have to see the whole picture, then put it together piece by piece!” 19 likes
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