How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) – It’s Okay

During my teen years I was obsessed with the Terry McMillian’s movie adaptations and as I was browsing a sale rack at my local bookstore a few months back, I noticed “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” For as much as I still love these movies, I had never read the original source material so I went ahead and picked up this novel and it ended up being a delightful read indeed.

I was pleasantly surprised by McMillian’s writing style. Stella narrates her own story but she employs a stream of consciousness form that doesn’t include punctuation which I personally found delightful. Not everyone would appreciate this style, but I found it easy to access as the internal spiral is nothing new to my existence. With that said, it did take me a few chapters to get used to the rhythm of Stella’s inner monologue, but once I did, I experienced a deeper connection and intimacy that made the reading that much more engaging.

I am absolutely no expert, but I imagine there are diatribes and scenes within this novel that are clearly identifiable to the 90’s and the experience of divorced, professional, black women particular to that decades’ context. For myself as a white middle aged woman reader, it felt nostalgic more than anything, but I am sure that experience would land differently on various audiences. Overall I simply enjoyed this book for what it was and I am glad to have read the source material for a movie I am sure I will watch and enjoy for the rest of my life. 

Happy Reading!

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