Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Interruption of Everything

Interruption of Everything

3.7 64
by Terry McMillan, Thorndike Press (Manufactured by)

See All Formats & Editions

Since Terry McMillan's breakout novel Waiting To Exhale surged onto the bestseller lists, critics and readers alike have been captivated by her irreverent, often-hilarious take on the issues faced by contemporary women. With The Interruption of Everything she picks up, pitch-perfect, the dilemmas of midlife: an empty nest. Hormones gone wild. Too


Since Terry McMillan's breakout novel Waiting To Exhale surged onto the bestseller lists, critics and readers alike have been captivated by her irreverent, often-hilarious take on the issues faced by contemporary women. With The Interruption of Everything she picks up, pitch-perfect, the dilemmas of midlife: an empty nest. Hormones gone wild. Too many irrelevant demands and too little room to breathe.

Marilyn Grimes is about ready to jump out of her skin. She's the consummate wife and mother of three grown kids. She's got a no-great-shakes-but-a-good-provider of a husband, Leon; and a live-in mother-in-law, Arthurine, who comes with a bingo-playing beau, Prezell, and an elderly pooch, Snuffy. Marilyn's two best friends, Paulette and Bunny, are the quintessential take-no-prisoners, vintage McMillan girlfriends who will be there when Marilyn jumps, but . . . she's just not sure exactly where that will be . . . or when. First, she needs to remember what she used to love and call back some of her own postponed dreams. But just as Marilyn's plans for making changes are taking shape, life comes up with a few twists of its own. Suddenly Marilyn must reinvent just about everything: marriage, friendship, family-and not least of all, herself.

The Interruption of Everything is a triumphant testament to the fact that the detour is the path, and living life "by the numbers" never quite adds up.

Author Biography: Terry McMillan is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of five previous novels and recipient of the 2002 Essence Award for Excellence in Literature. She lives in northern California with her family.

Editorial Reviews

To say that 45-year-old Marilyn Grimes is suffering from a midlife crisis is to understate. Her three children have left the nest; her boring engineer husband, Leon, is in career crisis and apparently philandering; her mother may be developing Alzheimer's; and Marilyn herself is searching for new frontiers or a place to leap. By turns, hilarious and heartbreaking; Terry McMillan in vintage form.
Jabari Asim
Marilyn's willingness to recognize such qualities where others may be inclined to overlook them is consistent throughout the novel. Her nuanced approach to life encourages her to look for deeper explanations. Whereas her friend Paulette says all men "seem to go a little nuts after they hit their forties," Marilyn tries to fathom her husband's difficulties instead of just dismissing him as a head case. Her willingness to listen inspires him to be candid, and, tentatively, a genuine conversation begins. Whether are not they resolve their differences will not be disclosed here. I will say that I'm holding out hope for Marilyn, whom I came to care about a great deal as the novel proceeded.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Marilyn Grimes is desperately frustrated with her life as a housewife and amateur crafts maker. The world seems to be conspiring against her, as she and her husband hit the emotional and physical rocks of middle age and her extended family keeps erupting in chaos. Emmy Award-winning Whitfield's attempt at husky male voices is awkward, but she does a great job with both older women (Marilyn's mother, who has Alzheimer's, and her sassy mother-in-law, who "elopes" with her new retirement home lover). Oddly, her voice as Marilyn is often not engaging. In some ways the weakness in her characterization is appropriate, as Marilyn claims her soul has been "in hiding" as she's catered to everyone else's needs. But some listeners may get bored by Marilyn's narration, especially compared to her lively girlfriends and family. Still, Whitfield was a natural choice for the part, and she mostly lives up to her reputation in delivering this journey of self-discovery. Also available unabridged on 10 CDs and narrated by Desiree Taylor. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, May 30). (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Marilyn Grimes, age 44, is angry, whiny, and perhaps perimenopausal. With three children in college, a boring husband, a live-in mother-in-law, and her own mother showing signs of dementia, she finds little joy in her suburban California world. Just when she comes up with an escape plan-graduate school-her life is interrupted yet again. Marilyn finds out she's pregnant and that her husband, Leon, is leaving for a month-long men's retreat in Costa Rica. During his absence, Marilyn ricochets in several directions but finally confronts her biggest enemy-herself. Girlfriends Paulette and Bunny, mother-in-law Arthurine, and sister Joy play significant cameo roles as this no-holds-barred, dialog-driven story tackles numerous contemporary issues, most notably our perceptions of aging. With twists on familiar themes, irreverent humor, and a heroine who has more backbone than we initially thought, McMillan's latest (after A Day Late and a Dollar Short) brings it all back home. This is life-affirming women's fiction delivered by one of the best in the field. Destined for the best sellers lists, the book belongs in most popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/05; BOMC alternate.]-Teresa L. Jacobsen, Santa Monica P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The sparks fly in McMillan's latest, a crowded family drama with two midlife crises competing for attention. Marilyn Grimes suspects she's premenopausal, but tests show she's seven weeks pregnant. This is bittersweet news for the narrator, who has spent 23 of her 44 years being a model housewife and mother in her middle-class neighborhood of Oakland Hills, across from San Francisco. She's raised three kids, now grown, while her engineer husband, Leon, has been a good provider, though the fun has gone out of their marriage. Then new tests show the fetus is dead, which is pure relief for Marilyn, though she still has her hands too full to focus on self-fulfillment: an MFA program, a business venture. Down in Fresno, her mother, Lovey, is becoming senile, and Marilyn's much younger adopted sister, Joy, can't cope: A drug addict, she can't even raise her own two kids, Tiecey and LL, so Marilyn must periodically descend from what Joy derisively calls her "little Cosby world" to help out. That little Cosby world is topsy-turvy too. Not only has Arthurine, Leon's far from senile mother, who lives with them, suddenly started dating, but one of Marilyn's sons is home on spring break, bringing his girlfriend and a bunch of homeboys-and staid old Leon is turning into a homeboy himself, looking ludicrous in new baggy jeans. When he announces he's off to Costa Rica to find himself and may be leaving Marilyn for good, she goes ballistic. McMillan is at her best juggling all these different characters. Bring 'em on! And the zingers are blistering. The second half is less turbulent, until news comes that Joy is dead. Marilyn must decide how to pick up the pieces while heartbreaking little Tiecey almoststeals the show. Undercharacterized Leon is the weak link here. Otherwise, McMillan's combination of boisterous humor and real compassion, both for the old and the underclass, is deeply impressive.
From the Publisher
“TERRY MCMILLAN KEEPS IT REAL.…easily her most accomplished tale...by turns laugh-out-loud funny and gut-punch painful. McMillan has painted a convincing portrait of the kind of woman who can say yes to everyone but herself.”—Boston Herald

“VINTAGE MCMILLAN...a very human story with large doses of friendship, humor, family, and imperfect relationships.”—The Dallas Morning News

“FUNNY, SAD, AND…FEISTY. [A] frank, no-holds-barred, humorous look at African-American midlife.”—The Seattle Times

“[MCMILLAN] HAS…A CUTTING WIT, a knack for capturing the way real people think and speak, a fearless willingness to engage complex, painful issues, and an unerring instinct for fashioning characters that enchant readers’ imaginations.”—The Washington Post


Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Thorndike Basic Ser.
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.24(h) x 1.43(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The only reason Ifm sitting on a toilet seat in the handicapped stall of the ladiesf room is because Ifm hiding. My break is just fifteen minutes long and Ifm trying to decide with the help of a book on the subject of 8the changee if Paulette was really on to something when she suggested I get a blood test to see if my hormone levels were diminishing. And if it turns out to be true, I might want to get them replenished with something besides the Good & Plenty Ifve been eating by the handful for the last seven or eight months and I donft even like licorice. Ifm also sitting here with an old issue of Bead & Button trying to figure out if I shouldfve played it safe and used plastic instead of glass beads since I just had to make my very first jewelry attempt a gift, and because sometimes I do think that more is better, just had to add three strands more than the instructions called for and now I donft know how to close up the ends. Ifm not used to asking for help.

Paulette claims Ifve been showing enough symptoms of a perimenopausal woman to warrant further examination, which initially irritated me. She merely closed her eyelids over those hazel contacts and sucked her tongue across those shiny white veneers and whipped over one shoulder all five hundred of those individual braids that are way too long for a forty-eight-year-old woman who is no Donna Summer and said, 8I know what Ifm talking about. You remind me of me four years ago.e

Experiencing something once does not make you an expert on the subject.

The rampage I went on last week about Leon may have added more fuel to the flames. Perhaps my reaction to my husbandfs forgetting to set the empty water bottles out was a little strong, but it was totally symbolic of a lot of other things he neglects. Ten minutes into my rant, Paulette just said, 8Girl, you need to hurry up and have that test so you can be restored back to full sanity. Assuming you once were! But seriously, you need to do something because your circuit-breaker is not working. On a lighter note, donft forget: Pity Party next Friday at Bunnyfs. I canft wait to hear your latest bullshit, if therefs anything left to tell. And as an FYI: Bunnyfs taking another online course, girl. This time itfs psychology. So be prepared. Shefs probably going to be Freudfs little sister. Just try to be nice, Marilyn.e

8Nicee has been difficult for me lately. Paulette has also been kind enough to point out that all those who land in my path of wrath (as she calls my unconfirmed Pause Personality) deserve a break, especially Leon, and Arthurine, his nosey mother who has eyes in the back of her head and lives with us along with her handicapped dog to whom I have the luxury of being a private nurse. I wish I could take all of them on a one-way cruise out to sea and then sail back to shore alone. This does sound mean, but some days I canft help it.

I have to admit that I have experienced quite a few of the symptoms Paulette was sweet enough to bring to my attention. But I didnft tell her. She loves being right and I hate being wrong. I snap the book shut. Should I break down and spend even more money on French wire and Bali silver cones to close up the ends of this damn necklace? Trying to achieve true beauty can be expensive. But Bead & Button seems to imply that using inferior (or cheap) materials will help deter that dreaded question: 8Did you make that?e

Ifm making this damn thing for Bunny, my other best friend, for her thirty-seventh, thirty-eighth, but most likely her fortieth birthday. Ifve got close to a month before she turns the big hand on the clock. But even with my 20 percent discount, wefre still talking about explaining to The Husband Who Is Not at Sea why these sums are necessary when they appear on the Visa or MasterCard bill. And if I do mess up (or=just say it, Marilyn=if you fuck it up), since one never knows one has even made a mistake until after one has made it: at what price, friendship? Not that Bunny would notice.

Class is something she doesnft respect, understand, or care about. 8What can you do with it?e shefs asked Paulette and me over the years. Particularly when wefve tried year after year to persuade her to trade in that Atlantic City±looking 1989 red Corvette she insists on driving; we dropped major hints that she might want to try going to a real furniture store to purchase real furniture one or two pieces at a time instead of decorating and designing her entire condo in a single trip to IKEA where they may as well have airbrushed the four showrooms directly into her crib; and we encouraged her to reconsider always having on display her recent purchase of a D cup. But Bunny has consistently ignored us. 8Itfs all good,e as one of my sons would say.

Tonight Ifll be stretched out on her make-believe sofa with thirty minutes to pour out my suffering soul after wefve eaten takeout at her little table for two and she and Paulette will say whatever it takes to lift my spirits to a level of clarity since Ifve obviously had difficulty doing it on my own.

The ladiesf room door bangs. Shit! Itfs them. The crazy women Ifm hiding from, the ones who always want me to take part in their thrice-weekly reality show. I have been ordained Craft Staff Supervisor here at Heavenly Creations, and these two are not only the storefs very best customers, they also purportedly work here and provide live entertainment.

Now Maureen shouts: 8Ifm just so outdone! Ifm going crazy, Trudy! I mean really frigging crazy! I canft believe he did this! To me! After fourteen years of what I thought was a good=no, great=marriage and out of the blue he just decides to tell me hefs found a new torch thatfs been turning his low flame into a forest fire and that according to Dr. Phil hefs been in denial for five years about how bored hefs been with dusf and the whole suburban lifestyle and he said he didnft want to hurt me and the kids by coming clean but there was no getting around it and by the way her name is oh who cares what her name is!? Trudy, I feel like such a fool! I mean, what am I supposed to do without a husband and three kids all under the age of twelve?e

8You really think youfre extraspecial, donft you, Maureen? Thatfs your whole problem. Well, welcome to the pool of pain millions of women have been swimming in for years, sweetheart.e

8Youfre not making me feel any better, Trudy. I thought I could confide in you.e

8You are. But let me finish my thought. Itfs a miracle to me just how well some of us have managed=those of us who are the unfortunate beneficiaries of out-of-control husbands. I truly believe that the women who were only given fifteen minutes to adjust to their newfound fame as Single Mothers and only used six or seven of them, have been touched by an angel of some kind because how else could any one human being adjust so quickly and handle so much responsibility without a quick stint in the Loony Bin? You and the kids are probably going to be better off, if you think of the odds.e

8What odds?e Maureen asks.

8Letfs face it. How much do husbands really do? I mean, what role do they really play around the house? Go ahead and say it, Maureen! Not much. Ifve managed to marry three cut from the same exact mold. Go figure. They think their paychecks and their penises equal making a physical contribution, which is why wefre always too tired to fuck them. Am I on track here or what?e

She had a point, and I squirmed on the hard seat. Leon would certainly fit in if they were to take a group photo.

8I hadnft thought of it like that before, Trudy. But even still, Ifll take his paycheck and his penis any day over nothing.e

Maureen and Trudy are both what I call Craft Junkies because in the year and a half Ifve been working here, theyfve taken just about every three-hour and five-week class offered as long as it didnft involve fire, food, or fumes. Theyfre also 8repeaterse because they took my beginning pillow-making class so many times that once I realized theirs were actually better made than mine, I got the owner to hire them to help with the setups. HC (as I call it) is small enough that it feels intimate. Here, nothing is locked behind glass or steel cabinets except of course the spray paint, but thatfs only because of the teenagers. Other than this, nothing suffocates under plastic that we arenft happy to unwrap. You can touch anything we sell at HC and we carry the very best high-end arts and craft supplies available in the United States. And I should know, because Ifm a junkie, too.

Trudy and Maureen often forget to pick up their paychecks, which they seem to think of as weekly gift certificates. I do not have the nerve to ask but Ifd sure like to know where they put all those damn pillows. They think theyfre hot stuff because they can make up to twenty different kinds of knots that they learned in Stephaniafs=the spinster from Israel=Beauty of Knots class. Lord knows theyfve made enough floral arrangements to cover ten fake funerals; so many gingerbread houses that some of our Olympian ants stopped trying to penetrate them; and enough of those Little House on the Prairie year-round wreaths that ten years ago were like status symbols on front doors across America but now donft even generate a comment when a stranger rings their bell.

Trudy washes her hands then hits the dryer button. Ifm starting to slide off this toilet seat. I lean forward and swirl these black-denim hips around like they were thirty-six instead of forty-four inches as quietly as I possibly can while lowering my sneakers to the floor, but when my cell phone starts vibrating in the uniform pocket above my left breast, the magazine and book fall off my lap and hit the floor. Shit!

8If he thinks Ifm leaving without putting up a fight, hefs got another thing coming.e

8I wouldnft jump so far ahead of myself,e Trudy says. 8Take a deep breath.e

I hear Maureen inhaling and swallowing air.

8And another. One more.e

8Trudy, I wonft be able to breathe if I keep taking breaths! Now Ifm standing in front of you with a busted heart so cut me some slack on the breathing, okay?e

8Okay, okay. Just trying to help you relax and not blow a gasket. Wefre at work, remember?e

8But wefre not on the clock.e Maureen blows her nose and then starts washing her hands. If I was really interested, I would wonder what theyfre doing here at this hour but itfs anybodyfs guess. Sometimes they come in here to kill time between drop-offs and pickups at any number of sport venues for adolescents.

Trudy and Maureen would be the first to admit that making things that are unnecessary is not only fun, theyfre happy to have something to do that gets them out of the house. Something that has nothing to do with children or husbands. They arenft particularly fascinated by art or beauty, just grateful for the distraction: this is precisely why they had designers decorate their homes and gave them carte blanche. They wanted to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having to make too many conflicting decisions at once: from hardware to fabric, carpeting to faux finishes, to where the trampoline would be safest. They wanted to be surprised when they moved in.

8He cheated cheated cheated!e Maureen blurts out again as if shefs trying to remind herself of it. 8But donft you worry one bit because hefll pay for it. Big time,e Trudy says a little louder. Ifm not sure if shefs talking about karma, child support, or alimony.

8But I donft want a divorce!e Maureen slurs, which just means the Xanax shefs 8requirede to take must have kicked in. Now shefs crying. 8I just want things to be back the way they used to be! Exactly, precisely like they were! Normal!e

I press the magazine against my chest like it has some kind of healing properties. Twenty-some- odd years ago, I was drunken-in-love with Leon and life, and with all the possibilities my future held. I canft remember when the dreams stopped being real and reality wiped out the dreams. When everything that took up my time was always something tangible. How do you lose so much and not notice when it starts evaporating? Why does it feel like I missed something or that I forgot to do something? It feels like all Ifve been doing is shaking out wrinkles. Tears are rolling down my face because I realize how comfortable Ifve gotten with this numbness.

I just want things to be back the way they used to be. Exactly. Normal. I feel like yelling out to Maureen that nothing can ever be the way it was. We just long for whatever was once good. Itfs the longing that makes us slide into a nostalgic coma. Itfs a way of resisting what is happening right now. I loved raising my kids but I wouldnft want to go through it again. Theyfre finally out of the house and off at college. If the truth be told, I crave the exact opposite of what Maureen wants: to go forward=not backward. Ifm just not sure how to get there. Which is probably why Ifm now bawling my eyes out.

Trudy knocks on the stall door. 8Are you all right in there?e

8You wouldnft think so, Trudy,e I say, gathering my composure and reading material before I open the door like Ifm stepping into the light.

8Marilyn, what in Sam hell are you doing in the handicapped stall? I should give you a ticket! Are those tears in your eyes? What is this, the Tear Factory? I suppose you heard Miss Maureenfs good news so we can pretty much label her tears, but what are yours for?e

8I honestly donft know. I think maybe it was hearing about your situation, Maureen. I suppose.e

8Itfs a situation all right,e she says, as if a thickness is coating her tongue.

8How many years have you been married now, Marilyn?e Trudy asks out of what seems like the blue.

8Twenty-three. Why?e

8Thatfs entirely too long,e Trudy says. 8What I mean is, itfs too long for you not to be just as miserable as the rest of us. So come on Miss Pillow Perfect, tell us youfre on the one-Zoloft-a- day-diet like the rest of us and wefve got ourselves a club.e

8Sorry, Trudy, but I donft think I qualify. Ifm not exactly bursting with joy but Ifm not miserable. You could say Ifve been living somewhere in the neighborhood of Mediocrity but have been waiting for a reserved parking space to open up in Happy Hills.e

8Where? What are you talking about?e Trudy asks.

8Itfs not important. Anyway, Ifm really sorry to hear about Roger, Maureen.e

8Itfs fine. Ifm fine. Wefll all be fine. If he thinks hefs going to just walk out of my and the kidsf lives because he wants to live on Fantasy Island, I mean, hello? I didnft hear you flush, Marilyn. What were you doing in there?e

8Ifd already flushed. But once Maureen got going, I didnft feel right opening the door.e

8No worries!e Maureen says. 8Look, we were here for the bread-making class, but I just canft handle it today.e

To show that I understand, I nod. 8Wait a minute! You did just say dbread making,f correct?e

8Yes. Wefre evolving. Out of the fire and into the pan or something like that,e Trudy says.

8Come on, Mo, let me treat you to a mocha nonfat latte with no foam and one Equal?e She winks at me. 8See ya next weekend for a little trim, Marilyn.e

After they leave, I drop the book and magazine on the dry part of the sink and put my hands under the faucet. I look down at the silver stream that gushes out, but can still see a shadow of myself in the mirror above. If I look up, Ifll see the truth in my eyes. What the hell am I doing? Here. Not in this store? But here: in this world, in northern California, in February 2004? Worrying about my hormone levels? Not only. I need to breathe. To stop pretending.

What I do know is that Ifm forty-four years old. That I have been attached to my husband and kids for so long I need to find out what kind of person Ifm capable of being as Marilyn Dupree and not just as Marilyn Grimes: mother and wife. But how do you make changes in your life without upsetting everything and everybody around you?

Ifm scared. But I have to do something or the spirit I still have left is going to petrify. I just canft believe that I grew up and became one of those women who got married and had kids and forgot all about my personal dreams. At first I just tucked them away and then as the years passed, they got buried and I felt embarrassed or ashamed to have had them in the first place. I figured after I finished raising my children Ifd at least get the interesting man I married back (didnft happen) and reacquainted with my other self and pick up where I left off.

They call us housewives. But contrary to popular belief, wefre not all trophies like Maureen or as uneducated as Trudy, no malice intended. In fact, I did more than go to college. I got a degree, although Ifve almost forgotten what I majored in. Might as well have been Intro to First Husbands 101 (Gordon) the soul mate I let get away, and after two summer sessions of nothing close to intimacy, was coerced into repeating the class and enrolled in Second Husbands 101A (enter Leon). But then, after Ifd barely flipped my tassel and was taking a one-year sabbatical before heading back to grad school because I thought being a social worker would help me steer as many unfortunate folk=black folk in particular=as far from self-destruction and poverty as they could get, but then surprise, surprise, here comes what I thought was only going to be a temporary interruption: Daughter 101 (Sabrina, a.k.a Isnft-She-Cute-and-Smart-Those-First- Eleven-Years, and then The-Rebellious-Ifm-Already-Grown-and-Having-Sex-and-Getting-an- Occasional-Buzz-I-Could-Strangle-Her-Teenager-Years), who is now twenty-two and did a 360- degree turn. She became a vegetarian, got spiritual, and may be her generationfs Iyanla. Next came Fraternal Twin Boys 202 (Spencer and Simeon, nineteen): straight up and down computer and math nerds like their dad, who makes sure buildings are built properly so they wonft buckle during earthquakes. Leon helped build our house a century ago. Itfs big and boring. Itfs up in the Oakland Hills in what has been renamed The Fire Area since in 1990 almost all the homes up here were lost when some idiot set some eucalyptus trees on fire. Sometimes, I wished ours had burned to the ground so we could start all over. But it didnft. We only had minor smoke damage. Leon planned on doing the renovations himself, but fourteen years later, I stopped holding my breath.

Being a lifetime wife and mother has afforded me the luxury of having multiple and even simultaneous careers: Ifve been a chauffeur. A chef. An interior decorator. A landscape architect, as well as a gardener. Ifve been a painter. A furniture restorer. A personal shopper. A veterinarianfs assistant and sometimes the veterinarian. Ifve been an accountant, a banker, and on occasion, a broker. Ifve been a beautician. A map. A psychic. Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. The T.V. Guide. A movie reviewer. An angel. God. A nurse and a nursemaid. A psychiatrist and psychologist. Evangelist. For a long time I have felt like I inadvertently got my masterfs in How To Take Care of Everybody Except Yourself and then a Ph.D. in How to Pretend Like You Donft Mind.

But I do mind.

8Marilyn? Are you still in here?e Trudy asks, sticking her head in the door. 8Your fifteen minutes have come and gone, sister, now get your behind out here and sell some beads or something! And youfve got a phone call.e

8Did they say who it was?e I ask, pretending to fluff my flat hair. Leonfs out doing seismic studies in a desert down in southern California where his cell never works and he wonft be home until Monday afternoon, which also means hefs golfing. He rarely calls me at work because Ifm usually busy demonstrating, hunting for, or explaining something to someone. And ...

8Itfs your favorite person.e


8Say it out loud. I donft mind.e


8Line three. Have a nice weekend, Marilyn. Ifm outta here.e

I walk behind the framing counter and press the blinking red light. 8Hello, Arthurine. Whatfs going on?e

8Well, you know I wouldnft bother you at work unless it was important ...e

8Has something happened? Itfs not the kids or Leon, is it?e

8Hold your horses, chile. No. No. The Lord says ...e

8Arthurine, I have a pretty good idea what the Lord had to say about being patient, but could you just get to the point, please? Ifve got customers waiting.e

8Well, you didnft ask if something couldfve happened to me or Snuffy?e

8Well, youfre in good enough shape to call me so how bad off could you be? And if it was Snuffy Ifd think youfd sound sadder.e

8Youfve got a point, except what if I ... Oh, never mind. Your doctor called and said you should call her.e


8You want me to say it louder?e

8Did she say why?e

8They donft usually say why unless itfs a matter of life and death and we both know you arenft dying. So think about it for a minute and call her.e

8Did she leave her number?e

8You want me to dial it for you and make this a three-way?e

8Never mind, I forgot Ifve got it stored in my cell. Thanks for letting me know.e

8Youfre welcome. What time will you be getting home?e

8The same time I always get home, Arthurine. In plenty of time to pick you up from Bible study, but Ifm going over to Bunnyfs tonight to play cards.e

8Didnft you all just play cards last month over at Paulettefs?e

8We did.e

8Why donft you never want to play with me when I ask?e

8Because you only like to play solitaire, Arthurine, and itfs hard to play with another player.e

8Well guess what?e

8I canft ...e

8Peggyfs daughter is being a good Christian and has offered to bring me home after Bible study.e

8Well, thatfs nice,e I say, trying not to sound too relieved.

8I sure wish I could manage to cook something but my arthritis been acting up all week long and itfs hard for me to open a can.e

8Well, I wouldnft want you to strain yourself. Ifll pick up something on my way home.e

8Could it possibly be Mexican or Chinese?e

8Good-bye, Arthurine.e

Shefs giggling when I hang up. She gets on the nerve that runs directly from the left and right sides of my brain. But God donft like ugly and Ifm trying not to let ugly register anywhere near my heart or mind because Paulette probably has hidden cameras watching me. When I take my cell phone out of my jacket pocket I realize that it was my doctor whofd called while I was in the bathroom. I hang up and press 8calls receivede on my cell and get her office. 8Yes, this is Marilyn Grimes and Ifm returning Dr. Hiltonfs call. Is something wrong? Was my blood test abnormal or something?e

8No, no, no,e the receptionist says, almost giggling, which makes me feel a little better. 8The doctor just thought you might want to come in to talk about the results of your blood work, thatfs all.e

8How soon?e

8How about Monday?e

8What time?e

8She could see you between two and four.e

8Ifll be there about two fifteen. And youfre sure Ifm not sick?e

8No, you are not sick, she just wants to explain what your test results mean and then let you weigh your options.e

8Then itfs pretty clear that Ifm going through menopause? Are my hormones disappearing?e

8The doctor will explain all of that to you when she sees you, so donft worry, Mrs. Grimes. You have a nice weekend.e

I hang up the phone. If I get in there on Monday and find out Ifm dying, Ifm going to strangle this bitch.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“TERRY MCMILLAN KEEPS IT REAL.…easily her most accomplished tale...by turns laugh-out-loud funny and gut-punch painful. McMillan has painted a convincing portrait of the kind of woman who can say yes to everyone but herself.”—Boston Herald

“VINTAGE MCMILLAN...a very human story with large doses of friendship, humor, family, and imperfect relationships.”—The Dallas Morning News

“FUNNY, SAD, AND…FEISTY. [A] frank, no-holds-barred, humorous look at African-American midlife.”—The Seattle Times

“[MCMILLAN] HAS…A CUTTING WIT, a knack for capturing the way real people think and speak, a fearless willingness to engage complex, painful issues, and an unerring instinct for fashioning characters that enchant readers’ imaginations.”—The Washington Post


Meet the Author

Terry McMillan is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of five previous novels and recipient of the Essence Award for Excellence in Literature.

Brief Biography

Danville, California
Date of Birth:
October 18, 1951
Place of Birth:
Port Huron, Michigan
B.S. in journalism, UC-Berkeley, 1979; M.F.A. in film, Columbia University, 1980

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Interruption of Everything 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could totally relate to Marilyn Grimes. I am a 56 year old women who has experiance many of the same things that she did, with the same ending results. When I finished the book, I missed her very much. It was like having to say good bye to a dear friend. This author has never let me down!!
AuthorAdrienneThompson More than 1 year ago
Empty nest syndrome, midlife crises, the "change", family issues, loneliness, and just plain boredom creep into all of our lives at one point in time or another, but it seems that the forties are riddled with these issues. Marilyn Grimes is no different from any other woman in her forties and as we get a peak into the issues of her life, we learn that those of us who are facing the same issues are not alone. Terry McMillan creates real characters and places them in real-life situations, making the reader feel like a fly on the wall as the events of their lives unfold. I absolutely loved this page-turner. Ms. McMillan has proven that her talent just gets better with time! This book reminds me why she's my literary idol! Adrienne Thompson - Author of Bluesday
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Terry McMillan, the only "problem" with her work is that her characters make you take a look at your own life and see issues that need work and changes that you should consider. Thats not really a problem though, is it? A very good book...not to be missed. Enjoy.
reed_readere More than 1 year ago
Thought Provoking, Riveting, Introspective, Light and Witty, I loved this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a McMillan fan and though I wouldn't rate this as one of my favorite McMillan books, I still think it was a really good novel. I enjoyed the detail & enjoyed Maryiln. I like the fact that it wasn't typical and I didn't know where the story was going, necessarily. I like the pace, though not as dramatic as one might want it still had a nice arc. The only thing, I kinda wished the family were more involved with Maryiln's tapestry, but I understand the difficulity in doing that. All in all, I think it's a great book to pick up and read at your lesisure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a Terry McMillan fan..but this book, which im listening to in my car is absolutely BORING...it is long drawn out and is like watching paint dry...I AM SO DISAPPOINTED....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DemiWI More than 1 year ago
It's a great read, as usual.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
as expected
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago