Waiting to Exhale
Waiting to Exhale is a masterful novel from a writer who has developed a special bond with her audience. Set in Phoenix, Arizona, it's a wise, funny, and resonant story about the friendship between four very different women who have one thing in common: they have not fared well with the men in their lives. Savannah Jackson is 35, single, and weary of men who can't make the transition from boyfriend to husband. Bernadine Harris is suddenly single—her husband has left her for a 24-year-old white woman. Marilyn Stokes is on the rebound, regretting the years she wasted on a dead-end relationship and mourning her recent miscarriage. And Gloria Matthews, a single mother whose 16-year-old son has just discovered sex, has spent most of her adult life driving men away with her none-too-subtle hunger for marriage. Told from each of these characters' diverse points of view, Waiting to Exhale is about their desire to find good men, exciting men; men who could help them lose the strange feeling that they've been holding their breath for as long as they can remember; men who could make them exhale. But it's also about a different kind of bonding between black women—a rich, supportive, abiding friendship that doesn't necessarily include men.