A close-knit group of 60-something black women deals with loss, illness, addicted family members, and the never-ending challenges of diet and exercise.
In her 10th novel, McMillan (I Almost Forgot About You, 2016, etc.) joins long-career novelists such as Philip Roth and Anne Tyler as she sails her protagonists with her into older age. Southern California beauty supply mogul Loretha Curry is about to celebrate her 68th birthday with her doting, still-hot third husband, and she begins by watching the DVD of her 67th. Here we meet her gal pals: Sadie, the church lady who might be a lesbian; Korynthia, the gorgeous 6-foot-1-inch-tall exercise instructor; Lucky, married to a white architect and with a weight problem like Loretha’s; and Poochie, a cruise-loving widow rolling in dough, now living in Las Vegas to care for her ailing mother. Loretha has told Carl that she’s sick of parties, so the dear man surprises her with a weekend at a favorite Palm Springs resort, where less happy surprises await. Speaking of hot husbands and hotel rooms, the little blue pill plays a humorous role throughout the novel, which is sprinkled with comments like “And he knows how to take just the right amount of Viagra, not like Mr. Roto-Rooter.” After Loretha’s world takes a devastating hit in Chapter 1, all her problems become much more pressing. She’s completely alienated from her twin sister and her alcoholic daughter; her son lives in Japan, and she’s never met her grandkids; her 86-year-old mother is eager to leave the nursing home; many people in her life need money and plan to get it from her. With all this pressure, it's no wonder Loretha’s ignoring her diabetes diagnosis and putting on pounds like crazy, and the only exercise she gets is walking her dog, B.B. King.
If only things went so well in real life! Enjoy the wish fulfillment of ready cash and ideal outcomes.