Waiting to Exhale
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Waiting to Exhale (Waiting To Exhale)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  8,968 ratings  ·  324 reviews
ROBIN STOKES is a successful insurance professional recovering from a dead-end love affair. ""They say love is a two-way street. But I don't believe it because the one I've been on for the last two years was a dirt road."" After months of depression, shopping and dating all the wrong men, she's getting by with a little help from her friends -- and still determined to find...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 1st 1994 by Washington Square Press (first published May 28th 1992)
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Linda
This is a case where I actually thought the movie was better than the book. The scene where Angela Bassett's character torches her philandering husband's vehicle with all his worldly goods inside was worth the price of admission.
Nardsbaby Reader
That’s What Friends Are For

I originally read WAITING TO EXHALE in the 90s when I was a teenager. A group of us decided to reread the story to see if it would have the same impact on as mature women. I have never reread a book before. I was under the impression that doing so the story wouldn’t be as interesting and predictable. As key parts of the story, the line up from the movie played out, I could actually hear Whitney Houston, Lela Rochon, Loretta Devine and Angela Bassett’s voices.

Savannah...more
Tracey L.H.
Feb 24, 2008 Tracey L.H. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to feel a Black woman's pain
I read this book in high school and I was disgusted! Then in African American Lit class for my junior year, we watched the movie, and I still hated it!

But it wasn't until I went to college that the book and its' leading ladies reverberated with my soul and outlook on men, life, and love!

One of my friends, who is Hispanic, said the book was stupid! And I and every other black woman looked at her and said she was crazy as hell! And I vehemently told her she'll NEVER experience what Black women fee...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 19, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This is the tale of four black women who are friends in early 1990s Phoenix, Arizona. I can't say I found any of the woman all that likable; they're so whiny and man-hungry. We first meet Savannah, never married and without children at thirty-six. She's affluent, doing well in her career in public relations, but tired of being single and of the faults of "buppie" (young black urban professional) males. She tells us, "I worry about if and when I'll ever find the right man, if I'll ever be able to...more
Cyndy Aleo
Before the pap that was How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Terry McMillan wrote the brilliant Waiting to Exhale, a story of four female friends and their triumphs and failures in their relationships with men.

::: The New Musketeers :::

As the novel opens, Savannah has just quit her job to move to a new job in Phoenix, where her friend Bernadine lives, in hopes of furthering her career and moving from public relations to television producing. Bernadine herself has just found out that her husband has n...more
Monkeyface
Listened to Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillan. This book is about 4 ladys. ROBIN STOKES is a successful insurance professional recovering from a dead-end love affair. "They say love is a two-way street. But I don't believe it because the one I've been on for the last two years was a dirt road." After months of depression, shopping and dating all the wrong men, she's getting by with a little help from her friends -- and still determined to find the Real Thing ...
BERNADINE HARRIS has the kids, t...more
Sarah
This book has so many early 90s moments that I was often laughing as the characters listen to Paula Abdul in their Nissans while committing various fashion and hair crimes. No suede dress or fuschia lipstick is left undescribed.

The detailed episodes of lousy sex that the main characters endure with every possible kind of loser are funny and icky. Also the constant swearing and foul-mouthedness is great. This book has a light-heartedness that is endearing. Things are bought and used for pleasure;...more
Linda
Nov 24, 2007 Linda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those in between relationships
Shelves: chick-lit
I started and finished this book on Thanksgiving day 2007. (My parents work Holidays so festivities were bleak) I think I'm going through a breakup? Dude completely stopped calling. Great book to read if you want to speed up the recovery. Reminds you some men are just pansies and you're lucky if you have good friends to take the edge off the stings.

Twas a therapeutic experience.

Funny because I watched the movie for the first time 2 years ago after a more substantial breakup and it was one of m...more
Antonina Sh
Wonderful reading - sweet and easy, but leaving a taste of solitude on the tip of your tongue. I found bits of myself here and there in every female character, as I'm sure every woman who reads it does. After all, as different as we are, most of the time it's about the same things: solitude, first moment excitement when you seem to have found The One, disappointment, passion, fireworks, bitterness.... etc.

Huge thanks to the author for leaving it without all those cheesy happily ever after ending...more
Alicia Duff
One must discover how connected humanity is. Everyone has individual longings to be loved. In this book I saw four women embody this notion. Through their companionships, conflicts, and life changes the plot grows. People who share there lives together in a truly loving relationship have a fulfilling life, opposed to others who don’t have anyone that cares about them.

Savannah is an attractive and intelligent 36 year old woman. This woman has been asking God to send her a decent man. She isn’t, p...more
Noelle
Silly,silly but funny too. An African American version of Sex in the City but nowhere near as good (but what could be as good as SATC??)An interesting point of view, enjoyed the 80's and 90's references to pop culture, and a fairly happy ending too. The book was just a celebration of female friendship and to that I can relate as I have been blessed with wonderful girlfriends who are like family to me :)A quick, entertaining read filled with lots of "oh no he didn't" and "damn girl" hahahaha
Damara
Not exactly sure why I read this. I suppose it was entertaining enough, but the writing was atrocious. The dialogue seemed wooden and disjointed (not to mention unnecessarily vulgar at times), but maybe since I was born in '86 I can't properly understand the plight of thirty something black women in the early '90s. Either way it was a quick read. I didn't hate it, but I also was disappointed by the lack of resolution at the end. I may have been better off just watching the movie, lol
Crystal
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up. I'm trying to read writing with more diverse experiences and points of view, and I have a vague memory of seeing the movie and enjoying it--mostly Angela Bassett's fiercess and that crazy scene where she destroys her husband's car.
So either my memory is faulty or the book is a lot different than the movie. Honestly, I didn't like this very much. And even though I didn't really like this book, I don't know if it's because the characte...more
Marina Maidou
A book that gives the fresh spirit of 90's about the hopes, the fears and the dreams of four 30 something women. Nice writting about to find Mr. Perfect but as the most of the books I've read at the end there is a sudden stop. Happy end of course but so sudden like the writer was in a island and the paper finished and she hasn't where to continue. Pity again!
wordsanddaffodils
Okay, yes, I know, I normally wait a day after I finish a book before I start reviewing it. But I'm going to change that now because I usually have fresher and better stuff on my mind the day I review it.

Okay. So, as a woman, especially a black American woman, Waiting to Exhale was one of those things that I was mentioned often. In most cases, it was referencing the movie. But still. Whether it was the car burning scene or the scene where Glora meets her new neighbor. This book/movie was someti...more
Cynthia
Read "Waiting it Exhale" in the 90's. Disliked the characters as a group - to whinny and desperate to get that man. Loved them as they bared themselves as individuals. Each struggled to exhale, as they persevered through the wrong men, the wrong circumstance, the wrong situation to morph into stronger women in the their quest to find the one to love and be loved. Epic scene when Bernadine torched cheating husband's possessions. Not the one for violence, but he bought the ticket and she took the...more
Kathleen
Now I want to watch the movie. Although one of the principal villains is a 27 year old white woman named Kathleen. I was a 27 year old white woman named Kathleen when this book was published. Yikes!
Roberto
420 pages

I enjoyed this story of four black woman that struggle and prevail over life, careers, men and love.
Wonderfully written and you will fall in love with the protagonists.
Stella
A bit 'soapy', but interesting all the way through. Now I can finally see the movie!
Tai Harris

“Waiting to Exhale” is an interesting novel about the strong bond between four friends who support and comfort each other in crisis. McMillan creates characters that are lovable and relatable. These characters are portrayed as humanistic and their issues and struggles aren’t uncommon to people of all races. But she does give great insight into the relationships between African-American men and women and how they relate to each other. Although some the issues faced by Bernadette is racial because...more
Marc Kohlman
A absolutely hilarious, down-to-earth and passionate novel. I first read this book in High School, when I began to get interested in urban and African-American fiction. Love Forest Whitaker's 1995 adaptation of the novel starring the incredible Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Dennis Haysbert and the beautiful and dearly missed Whitney Houston. This is a story of friendship, love, relationships, revenge, the struggles that make up everyday life and who we are as people. One of my favorite parts o...more
Amber
Would really like to give this 3.5 stars, but it's not quite 4-star material for me.

I didn't really know what to expect from this book as my copy didn't have a description on the back cover and I couldn't remember anything about the story from when the movie came out years ago. However, I liked it. The book follows the lives of four African-American women in their mid-30s struggling with the men in their lives, work, family and how to keep in all in balance. The book was interesting, but did st...more
Maya Rock
Feb 18, 2008 Maya Rock rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: David M--it's a book full of strong black women
Recommended to Maya by: Mom had it, although I don't know if that counts as a rec.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue
I had previously read her latest book, "Who asked you?', and I have to say I liked that one much better than this one. My husband would definitely describe this as a "man-hater" book! Besides the gay man, I don't think there were any male characters with any redeeming qualities! It was a very "80's" book, probably b/c it was written in the early 90's. Lots of talk about AIDS, wearing hats, listening to Paula Abdul....
Nakia
This is my third time reading this novel, but luckily so much time passed since the last time I picked this book up, it was like reading it for the first time.

The beginning started off sketchy. All of the characters had my side eye ready to explode, but as I delved deeper into the story, I grew closer to them, and better understood their pain and plight. I saw a lot of the old me in all of these women, which at some points made me sad, and at other points made me extremely happy that I'd learne...more
Mitzi
We are introduced to four black women in the early '90's in Phoenix. They are in various stages of their life: Bernie just found out her wealthy husband is divorcing her to be with a white woman; Savannah is moving from Denver to Phoenix to further her career and change her scenery; Gloria is a single mom who comforts herself with food instead of lust; and Robin is a single girl who will sleep with any fine man she finds in hopes of finding Mr. Right.
And then the book meanders through their liv...more
Nday Ciccone
I always have the feminist-part of me that lead me to read something about woman's life.. But this novel isn't only about woman.. it's about friendship and how it works to make your life become a better place.. I think, this novel is witty, clever, 'black' and worth to read.. for those who think that you have no best friend in this world..
Autumn
Nov 12, 2008 Autumn added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girls who love talking about boys
Recommended to Autumn by: Mother
This book is definitely a girls read. For all the girls who love to talk about relationships with boys, it's for you! This book, is really a collection of anecdotes from a group of best friends who sit around and discuss the best and worse of the relationships with men. These groups of women are very different. They all have different life styles and have different profession which make their views on alot of issue very distinct, in the end though, the all know how to come together and have a go...more
Andrew
Terry McMillan's 1992 novel changed the book publishing industry she illustrated with this novel there is a huge African American market which is thirsty for books about the black American experience. It wasn't until McMillan's Waiting To Exhale was a huge success selling over 2 million copies that book publishers FINALLY woke up and realized there is money to be made publishing books which interest black readers.

I liked the novel because four women are very distinct and have different personali...more
Georgene
I saw the movie several years ago and really enjoyed it. So, I was very happy when I found this book. I enjoyed the book so much that I read it in one (VERY late) evening. I liked the main characters and how they coped with their lives. I recommend this book!
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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 Mama How Stella Got Her Groove Back A Day Late and a Dollar Short Getting to Happy

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