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1. Did you read Waiting to Exhale? If so, does this novel follow the arc that you imagined for these characters? If you haven't read McMillan's earlier novel, do you plan to now?
2. Do you have a core group of friends like those in Getting to Happy? What role do your friends play in your life? What do you contribute to their lives?
3. Which character is most like you? Which character reminded you of one of your friends?
4. Savannah urges the friends to give each other blunt, honest advice, saying, "Sometimes we need somebody to just tell us what to do even though we already know it" (page 249). What advice would you give yourself?
5. Reread the epigraphs at the beginning of the book. What do they mean? How do they reflect the events in each character's life?
6. Savannah asks Jasper, "How do you measure happiness?" (page 303). What did you think of his and her responses? What does happiness mean to the other characters in the novel? How do you measure happiness?
7. How have you changed over the past 15 years? Where do you hope to be in the next 15 years? What are you currently doing to achieve those goals?
8. Getting to Happy is written from alternating points of view. In what ways is each woman's voice unique? How did getting the other characters' perspectives enhance your understanding of each woman?
9. Which character's situation did you most sympathize with? Whose behavior did you find most frustrating? Whose storyline did you find most satisfying? Consider both the major and minor characters.
10. Onika, Sparrow and Taylor are as interesting and well defined as Savannah, Bernadine, Robin and Gloria. Compare and contrast these three young women. What do they contribute to the novel?
11. Choose your favorite character and discuss how you imagine her life will change after another 15 years.
Find out how McMillan gets to happy
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From the September 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!