Summary and book reviews of A Day Late and A Dollar Short by Terry McMillan

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

By Terry McMillan

A Day Late and A Dollar Short
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  • Hardcover: Jan 2001,
    448 pages.
    Paperback: Dec 2001,
    480 pages.

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Book Summary

Much-heralded and long awaited, Terry McMillan's tour-de-force novel introduces the Price family -  matriarch Viola, her sometimes-husband Cecil, and their four adult kids, each of whom sees life -- and one another -- through thick and thin, and entirely on their own terms. With her hallmark exuberance and cast of characters so sassy, resilient, and full of life that they breathe, dream, and shout right off the page, the author of the phenomenal best-sellers Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back has given us a novel that takes us ever-further into the hearts, minds, and souls of America -- and gives us six more friends we never want to leave.

Way I See It

Can't nobody tell me nothing I don't already know. At least not when it comes to my kids. They all grown, but in a whole lotta ways they still act like children. I know I get on their nerves-but they get on mine, too - and they always accusing me of meddling in their business, but, hell, I'm their mother. It's my job to meddle.

What I really do is worry. About all four of 'em. Out loud. If I didn't love 'em, I wouldn't care two cents about what they did or be the least bit concerned about what happens to 'em. But I do. Most of the time they can't see what they doing, so I just tell 'em what I see. They don't listen to me half the time no way, but as their mother, I've always felt that if I don't point out the things they doing that seem to be causing 'em problems and pain, who will? Which is exactly how I ended up in this damn hospital: worrying about kids.

I don't even want to think about Cecil ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Introduction

"One thing I do know about men and kids is that they always come back. They may be a day late and a dollar short, but they always come back." –Viola, A Day Late and A Dollar Short

When Viola Price returns home from the hospital after a near fatal asthma attack, she comes to an important realization: she may not survive the next one. While keeping her fears a secret from everyone but her best friend, Loretta, Viola shapes a plan for bringing her family—on the verge of breaking apart from numerous petty squabbles and insecurities—together as a supportive, loving unit. Doing so will prove no easy task but one that Viola, who asserts "it's my job to meddle," is more than equipped to tackle. Over ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
The Washington Post Book World

Terry McMillan is the only novelist I have ever read . . . who makes me glad to be a woman . . . [Hers] is the voice of the kind of woman all of us know and all of us need the warm, strong, bossy mother/sister/best friend.

New York Newsday

McMillan is not only a gifted fiction writer but a social critic as clear-eyed as Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston or Edith Wharton.

Boston Globe

McMillan is carving a formidable niche in fiction.

Boston Globe

McMillan is carving a formidable niche in fiction.

Philadelphia Tribune

Arguably the best chronicler of Black life today.

Philadelphia Tribune

Arguably the best chronicler of Black life today.

San Francisco Chronicle

...the world's finest chronicler of modern life among African American men and women.

Reader Reviews
Yvette

I read this book with interest and questions. In my poor Harlem family we did not condone the use of profanity, therefore can anyone discuss why the author Terry McMillan has her characters use so much of it. I am an older reader but this was a ...   Read More

a j darden

I really enjoyed everything about the book from the writing style to the complexity of the characters. T. McMillan is an execellent story teller.

jackie watkins

Fantastic. Everyone should read this book, you'll find a family member among the pages. I know I found several, including myself. A must read for the avid reader.

Ms Tee

I read this book,and was so enlighted it was hard to put down.
It will have you laughing,and feeling sad too.
I can relate to some of things that happen in that family,
It's like the author was talking to me.
It was a good book and every family
should ...   Read More

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