Who asked you? - Terry McMillan
Source: Review Copy from Viking Books
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.
A fiction book that reads as a true life book to me is a book that has pushed boundaries in writing. Who asked you? Does not in any way have you thinking it's fiction, it is as honest and as real as I am human. By god it's long, but it is not boring. Crammed to bursting capacity with every situation possible you may as well be watching a series drama on the TV.
Who asked you? follows one family through their life and through life's troubles. We read passages from the main giver Betty Jean Butler and her sons Dexter and Quentin. Her sisters Arlene and her son Omar and Venetia. Her daughter Trinetta and her sons Luther and Ricky. Her husband Mister as she calls him or to us Lee David. His home nurse, nurse Kim. Her best friend and neighbour Tammy. The lady from Social Services and lastly Warren Daniels the principal at the local school.
As you can tell by that list that this obviously has some serious depth as a book covering a home domesticity being told by that many people sure as hell can't be anything other than deep. You will also understand that I cannot go into the slightest bit of detail about the book without giving out some sort of spoiler. What I can say though is this is without a doubt a book that has you deeply connected with its characters, a book that will shock you and a book that will have you understanding something's in some peoples lives that maybe you wouldn't have even ever thought about.
This is a fabulous book. Humorous, deep, friendly and happy are words that will describe it.
I recommend this to anyone who will take on the challenge of a lengthily read and a book that maybe doesn't have a plot that they may be used to.