July 25, 2005 12:00 PM

by Terry McMillan

The Waiting to Exhale author’s frank, funny sixth novel opens with 44-year-old Marilyn Grimes in the bathroom—appropriate for a potty-mouthed woman whose life is in the toilet. Marilyn’s kids are grown, her Bible-quoting mother-in-law has moved in, her foster sister is a drug addict. Worst of all, she and her dull husband have sex in two places only: “His side or my side of the bed.” Marilyn’s believable, sarcastic voice makes her struggle with mostly familiar midlife woes feel fresh. Breathe easy, fans: It’s been four years since her last book, but McMillan’s still got her groove.

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