Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Terms of Endearment” as Want to Read:
Terms of Endearment
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Terms of Endearment

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  22,366 Ratings  ·  298 Reviews
In this acclaimed novel that inspired the Academy Award-winning motion picture, Larry McMurtry created two unforgettable characters who won the hearts of readers and moviegoers everywhere: Aurora Greenway and her daughter Emma.
Aurora is the kind of woman who makes the whole world orbit around her, including a string of devoted suitors. Widowed and overprotective of her dau
Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1975)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Terms of Endearment, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Terms of Endearment

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Joe Valdez
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never seen the movie & before doing so I picked up this book by the writer of "Lonesome Dove." That work cannot be too easily compared to this estrogen-drenched Fem-Power! novel which paints its heroine Aurora Greenway as a sassy matriarch deeply afraid of becoming a grandmother and too aware of her love life to stop and help all of her sisters in plight: mainly, her daughter and her maid, who suffer at the hands of stupid husbands. Aurora has all the suitors eating right out of her ha ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
“It was inconsiderate, she thought, how blandly people mentioned the future in the sick rooms. Phrases like next summer were always popping out; people made such assumptions about their own continuity.”

Terms of Endearment is a movie I grew up on and adored. I admit that even though I know every bit of dialogue by now that comes up during the sad scenes, I still sob like a baby during a couple of emotionally crushing scenes.

Terms of Endearment the novel earned my biggest disappointed rating of
Apr 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I am sorry to say I have DNF'd this one. I resolve to give any book 100 pages to engage with me, and if it doesn't, I move on. Perhaps if I had not just pushed myself through Lolita, I might have pushed myself to finish this one because it was a group read, but alas I did not.

I have read McMurtry books that were wonderful, but this one left me not only flat, but thoroughly aggravated. I did not care for Aurora, I felt rather inclined to strangle her just to shut her up. Then it occurred to me t
Sarah Anne
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book, although it was a surprisingly light type of enjoyment. It's very funny and, as is typical with a McMurtry book, I loved the characters very much. Vernon was a particular favorite but they were all really wonderful.

I've only seen the movie once or twice so I'm curious to see what people have to say about the book vs movie. The book is mostly about Aurora, with occasional forays into Emma's and some of Aurora's suitors' POVs. Aurora is a vibrant and mercurial chara
Renita D'Silva
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty, poignant, searing, heartbreaking. Loved it.
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
McMurtry reminds me a little of John Irving in that he will take a character, usually a secondary one and give this whole rambling back story that can be really boring but works for them.
Terms of Endearment was marketed as a mother-daughter story but I think it was more about Aurora. She is CLASSIC! she comes across as confident and witty and whip-smart (which she is) but really the overconfidence is covering major insecurity. She needs men to make her feel powerful and sexy. She needs to be wa
Lori Anderson
Aug 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I honestly didn't like it, but it intrigued me enough to want to know how it ends, so I did finish it, and gave it 1 star for that.

I didn't feel like any of the characters were remotely likeable. The women who were married were all in terrible marriages with abuse of some sort. The fact that they never left of their own accord makes me wonder about the author's attitudes towards marrriage and towards women. The men were largely useless - either lazy, abusive, aggressive, or undeveloped and ignor
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aurora Greenway is one of the best characters ever written, in my eyes. She cracked me up. While she wasn't always a commendable friend, mother, lover or even person, she was human, flawed and still tried to do her best.

The only reason this book doesn't get 5 stars is because I didn't see enough reaction from Aurora with what happend at the end (no spoilers!). I would have liked to see perhaps more remorse- I think I wanted to cry but instead the ending didn't make much of an impact on me.
Nov 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
I laughed, I cried.

What a versatile writer!
Beth Bonini
In terms of the relationships between men and women, this book feels quite dated. In terms of the relationship between mother (Aurora Greenaway) and daughter (Emma Horton), I suspect that many readers will either identify with, or certainly acknowledge the truthfulness, of the portrayal. Aurora is one of McMurtry's finest characters - in a large stable of fine and memorable characters. She is a monster of selfishness in many ways: vain, idle, narcissistic, mercurial and self-indulgent. In the op ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's another user on Goodreads who rated this two stars because the "only good things about it was the superb writing and memorable characters." I agree with her and would also add great dialogue and give it two more stars making it four. As memorable characters go Aurora Greenway is a diamond, almost vicious in her pragmatism, sharp-tongued and hilariously uncomfortable to be around. In lesser hands she may have been a cartoon but Larry McMurty is a great writer and gives depth graciously (" ...more
Sean Meriwether
Terms of Endearment is another novel, aside from the last 40 pages, that bears no resemblance to the movie adaptation. Where the movie defined the “chick flick” genre, the novel is decidedly less weepy. In the book, Aurora Greenway lives in a vortex of chaos, most of which she has taken on herself. Facing the south-slope of midlife with her first grandchild on the way, Aurora is a living contradiction in terms. She’s a widow who leads on her multiple suitors but has little desire to be caught, s ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x04-april-2017
I liked it more and more as it went on, but I hated Aurora for a huge chunk of the book. I probably would've liked it more if she hadn't been so much the focus of the story. McMurtry is a great writer and this book won't put me off from reading more of his novels.
Tona Ogle
Wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it was about the coming together and relationship between a mother and daughter when it's just about the similar screwed up lives of two old broads who happen to be mother & daughter. They're practically inconsequential to one another till the very end.
Tiffany T
This is one of those rare times, when I love the movie more than the book.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't remember that McMurty had written this novel, but wanted to read it because I loved Lonesome Dove. This is an altogether different book which focuses on Aurora, a force of nature, an impossibly self-centered widow who has multiple suitors wishing to marry her. These suitors are very different from one another but each trying to win over Aurora who wants them all but doesn't want any of them. It's also the story of Emma, her daughter, 22, married to an ineffectual scholar-husband, Flap. ...more
Suzanne Moore
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of McMurty since his novel Lonesome Dove was made into a TV mini-series. After watching that epic western, I immediately went to the library and read the book as well as several other McMurty novels. His novels are either set in the days of Old West or contemporary Texas. His characters are certainly memorable, as you may know if you’ve ever read any of his novels or seen movies based on his work.
Terms of Endearment takes place in modern Houston, TX and though there are both m
Alex Lee
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, fiction
I'm not sure I understood this novel. It would be easy to dismiss the characters because they are too selfish, or too amoral. By today's standards the violence and verbal abuse seem trivalized as when it's done, the characters easily forget and bear little to no grudges. I did want to find out what was happening but in the end, it seemed all they wanted to do was mostly drink, screw, and abuse each other because someone else isn't living up to some kind of expectations.

I'm not sure how I would f
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I saw the movie when it first came out. It was a tear-jerker at the end. Same thing with the book--the last section is mostly in Emma's perspective and just as heartbreaking as I remember the movie was.

The most surprising thing about the book was how little it actually followed the movie. Spoiler alert--there is no Garrett Breedlove character in the book. The paperback edition I read must have come out after the movie. It had a middle section of photos of Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jeff
This book is confusing to me. I kept waiting for the plot to happen.

The description points out that the author has created two women whom MOVIEGOERS everywhere fell in love with. Perhaps not readers.

Aurora Greenway is the main character here, a mature woman with several gentleman 'callers' who are all convinced they are in love with her. She deftly plays them off of each other, creating endless entertainment for herself, but perhaps leaving others hurting.

Emma is her daughter. Emma is not a st
Susan Daly
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is almost an exact replica of my relationship with my own Mother and myself. It was stunning to me to read it when I did way back when because I kept stopping and thinking, "do we know Larry McMurtry", or "does my Mother know him."

The answer was no to both questions, but this book is on of the two (2) or three (3) books I reread every so often and still enjoy as if it were the first time.

I'm not great at explaining plots of books, I think because I much prefer to personalize what I fel
Krizia Anna
I did not like it that much. The only good things about it was the superb writing and the memorable characters. However, I did not really like the plot. I got a feeling that this was supposed to be a mother-daughter book but it really wasn't. It was actually a mother and her suitors, and daughter and her love affairs. If this was published today they might be called sluts and bitches. The ending was actually pretty good but I think the author wasted a lot of pages for that. The beginning was too ...more
P.S. Winn
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have seen the movie, you know how special it was and you don't really need the story recapped. Just let me say that even though the movie was beautifully done, the book is still better and this is one you should grab and read, however keep a box of tissues close by. This author has so many amazing novels and readers should be glad for his accomplishments and amazing stories.
Mar 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is that it must have taken a screenwriter of heroic proportions to see an Oscar-winning movie from this novel. If I had never seen the movie, I wouldn't have made it as far as I did (I got one-third through the book before I gave up). I did skip to the end to find out that Emma's last days in the movie were portrayed fairly true to the book.
Sep 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was manipulative aiming at wringing every possible tear out of the reader.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aurora Greenway and her daughter are the subjects of this tale, but Emma (the daughter)is mostly invisible; standing in the huge and flamboyant shadow cast by her Mother. Being raised by a 'Princess' myself, I was initially put off. But really - Aurora's hilarious repartee, her ongoing criticisms of her many suitors -- had me in stitches. In her own quieter way, Emma holds her own and in ways is as intrigued by her Mother's outrageous entitlement as all the other people Aurora shuffles in and ou ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I read this after seeing the movie. I think I liked it well enough, but wasn't blown away by it. Whatever McMurtry may have intended, Shirley MacLaine will always be Aurora to me. What a performance!

As for McMurtry's other novels, Lonesome Dove is really the only "blow you away it's so good" story.
You'd think I would know better than to read a book that was the source material for a movie I'm not crazy about. I thought the movie was fine, although it didn't make me cry (and I hate Jack Nicholson). But I adored Lonesome Dove which I read in the winter, and since this is considered a modern classic (and Larry McMurtry is my best friend's favorite author), it seemed like a no-brainer to give it a shot. It started off badly as I began it on the very end of the longest flight in the world (Syd ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Terms of Endearment, by Larry McMurtry 1 16 Apr 25, 2016 10:22AM  
  • Beaches
  • My Life As Author And Editor
  • Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals
  • The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
  • The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion
  • My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath
  • Selected Letters, 1913-1965
  • New Poems of Emily Dickinson
  • The Velvet Underground & Nico
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
  • Goldilocks & Three Bears: Bears Should Share!
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Molière: A Biography
  • The Song of Names
  • Pushkin: A Biography
  • The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition (Peloponnesian War)
  • A Quiet Storm
  • Lisa and David
Larry McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on June 3, 1936. He is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two essay collections, and more than thirty screenplays.

His first published book, Horseman, Pass By, was adapted into the film "Hud." A number of his other novels also were adapted into movies as well as a television mini-serie
More about Larry McMurtry...

Fiction Deals

  • War Brides
    $3.99 $2
  • Bluebeard
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Orphan Train Girl
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Want Not
    $14.95 $2.99
  • Finding Rebecca
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Twelve-Mile Straight
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Cafe by the Sea
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Everybody's Son
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $2
  • The Word Game
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Cats Are Weird: And More Observations
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Wake Up
    $4.99 $2
  • The Way to London: A Novel of World War II
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ask the Dust
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Saving Abby
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vanessa and Her Sister
    $13.99 $2.99
  • The King's Mistress
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Midnight Sun (The Northern Lights Series, No 3)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Cove
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Jailbird
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
    $15.95 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fire by Night
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bagombo Snuff Box
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The High Mountains of Portugal
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Cat's Pajamas: Stories
    $7.99 $1.99
  • East Wind: West Wind: The Saga of a Chinese Family (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck Book 8)
    $17.99 $2.99
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Burgess Boys
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Skinny Legs and All
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Paris Wife
    $11.99 $2.99
  • If I Was Your Girl
    $9.99 $2.99
“It was inconsiderate, she thought, how blandly people mentioned the future in the sick rooms. Phrases like next summer were always popping out; people made such assumptions about their own continuity.” 9 likes
More quotes…