Black History Month Review: Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillan

Waiting to Exhale is one of those movies that always seemed to be playing in the back drop at black family gatherings when I was younger. Yet I have to admit that I have never seen it in full. It came out in 1995 when I was 6 years old and yeah my parents have it on VHS and I’m sure it plays on BET from time to time but my TV is stuck on my Amazon Fire as I marathon Hell’s Kitchen and binge watch Rugrats on Hulu.

I know the gist of it though and I have seen the iconic imagery and gifs of the gorgeous Angela Basset setting a car on fire and walking away as it bursts into flames.


I wanted to read it finally because I am a fan of chick-lit and black chick lit isn’t rare at all but it’s hardly as popular as “white” chick lit.

The premise is about four Black women who are going through the trials are life. All are successful on paper. They have good jobs, are beautiful, and some have children but of course life isn’t perfect and love is always turbulent.

Savannah Jackson is a successful television producer who still takes care of her family from afar and is having trouble even meeting a man. She hopes a move from the stagnant Scottsdale will give her the boost she wants career and love wise.

Bernadine Harris has just been served with the crippling news from her husband that he is leaving her for his mistress. His white mistress that he works with. Bernadine has sacrificed everything in life for this man including the career that she wanted, her life is crumbling before her in a matter of few words.

Robin Stokes is an executive and also the mistress of a notorious fuckboy named Russell. She charts star signs but refuses to look at the signs that he’s not who he says he is and he will not be molded into what she wants him to be.

Gloria is a single mother to a 17 year old boy named Tarik. Lately it has been hard to reign him in and Gloria has turned to food to comfort as a stress reliever.

This was a good read. I enjoyed reading about the women and their situations and I definitely felt enraged at certain parts. Right away when Bernadine’s husband told her he was leaving her I was chanting to myself “burn it down, girl. burn it all, DOWN.”


There are some hilarious moments in this book as well.

There are sex scenes in it but they highlight how so many men think they are GODS in bed when they’re really doing absolutely nothing lmao. One man was actually growling at a character during and I was laughing so loud.

The negatives I have is that the book is kind of disjointed and I was supremely disappointed at the ending. I feel it could have been done so much better. A good ending can make or break a book and this definitely didn’t help.

A lot of the dialogue was oddly stilted too and I wish the characters were more well rounded. I was sorely disappointed in Gloria’s character overall. She was just described as fat and beautiful and she’s too beautiful to be fat. Like…come on. I understand this was written in the 90s but still. There’s also a gay character whose ARC sorely disappointed me as well. Again, I know different time but the 90s was not that far off and unfortunately a lot of people still think this way. Sigh.

This was a fun, quick chick lit. Perfect rainy day read.

This is my first Terry McMillan book and I don’t think it will be my last. I mean I do have to learn about how Stella got her groove back don’t I?

6 thoughts on “Black History Month Review: Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillan

  1. Lmao growling at a character during sex? That sounds awkward AF 😂Sorry to hear that this didn’t turn out as you expected but at least there were still some enjoyable moments! Haven’t heard of it before but the movie looks like it’d be a fun 90s film to watch. Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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