I Almost Forgot About You
By Terry McMillan
Read by Terry McMillan
Category: Women’s Fiction | Audiobooks
CD and Audio Download
June 7, 2016
Penguin Random House Audio/Random House Audio
660 Minutes CD | 673 Minutes Download | ISBN 9781101913055
Penguin Random House/Crown: Hardcover & Ebook (368 pages)
Penguin Random House/Random House Large Print: 512 pages
Audiofiles provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
About I Almost Forgot About You
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale is back with the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life–great friends, family, and successful career–aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile. Big-hearted, genuine, and very universal, I Almost Forgot About You shows what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction. It’s everything you’ve always loved about Terry McMillan.
My first-impression impact of this story is about the narration: I feel the author both helped her story and hurt it by self-narrating.
Helped: Sometimes when I write my posts how something sounds in my head is different from how it will sound when I read it or hear someone else read it. The rhythm and intonation can imbue any phrase with a different meaning. I think this may be the case with Terry’s writing.
Hurt: Sometimes during the recording her intonation and rhythm gave me an impression of expository writing as she tossed off a description of an event too quickly. For some reason, I associated this with the writer/narration experience instead of just the reading experience. A professional narrator may have been able to give those sections more weight. At times the narration sounded like an apology; like when I have had to read something out loud to a group and felt it wasn’t perfect or took too long.
The book is likely to hit close to home for many of us who are in our fifties. I think this is the age of the mid-life crisis, especially for women. It’s a time when, if one has children, they are likely to be assuming their own place in the world; succeeding or erring and pushing their parents away as they work to claim their decisions.
It must be the hardest thing to release your adult children into the abyss of adulthood. Then you face the rest of your life with focus completely changed. And, it’s hard to reinvent in one’s fifties. There’s a sense of dwindling time, and, in my personal experience with art, a sense of not wanting to waste one’s time studying for a degree, but to get out and just do. There’s a feeling from Georgia, one I really identified with, of feeling one’s work can be like speaking a foreign language about which you lack confidence. People can see it, but if they don’t like it they can just shut up. And, when someone says they want to buy it I feel shy and uncomfortable. We also get to experience these re-inventions in Georgia’s daughters’ lives and in Georgia’s mom’s life as well. There’s a wonderful feeling of continuity and acceptance. And Georgia’s good friends are either supportive or toxic.
Not much is made of racial difficulties for Georgia: I didn’t feel she felt discriminated against in her adult life. But I did find her reticence about her daughter dating white guys interesting, and puzzling.
Her search for learning the fate of the men with whom she had fallen in love as a younger woman very normal. I think we all wonder what became of the guys loved before and the internet gives us so much ability to to find out. In my case, I have been more than grateful to be where I am now than where I would have been with any of my ex boyfriends.
In any event, while there is a great cultural aspect to the story what spoke most to me was the middle-aged woman, reinventing herself.
So, as you can gather, this book made me think. I had some issues with the “telling” nature of the story, and felt, sometimes that I was hearing the author’s life as much as the characters’ lives. But it was a very honest, forthright, story with a cultural viewpoint and a great twist at the end. I really enjoyed it.