My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor,Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job delivering room service at a hotel. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises.
Who Asked You? casts an intimate look at the burdens and blessings of family and speaks to trusting your own judgment even when others don’t agree. McMillan’s signature voice and unforgettable characters bring universal issues to brilliant, vivid life.
I was looking forward to reading this book but didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t unforgettable.
I’ve not read a lot of Terry McMillan so perhaps I wasn’t up on what to expect. I do remember that Getting to Happy (the last McMillan book I read) had multiple view points. Who Asked You had MANY POV’s and to me, was overkill. It muddled the story to me and made it much less enjoyable to read.
Aside from that, Who Asked You reads like a real slice of American life in a family in an urban city. From drug and alcohol abuse to stints in jail to dealing with Alzheimer’s and instability, McMillan lays her characters bare on the page. We see all, good and bad. The writing is not stilted and introspective– it is conversational and on the level of Any Reader. She tells a story, over time, and allows us to watch how life plays out for this family.