FICTION

It’s Not All Downhill from Here

Ballantine. Mar. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781984823748. $28. F
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Between her beauty supply stores, her set of lifelong friends, and her family, Loretha has a full and busy life. When her husband dies while they are out of town celebrating her birthday, she shuts down and goes into months of mourning. But as always, her family needs her. Loretha’s alcoholic daughter Jalecia refuses to talk to her and communicates only through Loretha’s granddaughter, Cinnamon. Cinnamon and her husband are kind, but neither has a steady job and they are expecting twins. Loretha’s twin sister, Odessa, has constant money issues, and their 86-year-old mother is slowly succumbing to dementia. And as a woman in her late 60s, Loretha has her own health issues. Her life is not over, though, and with the support of her friends and her own determination, Loretha has adventurous plans for her future.
VERDICT McMillan (I Almost Forgot About You) delivers humor and wit while dealing with serious issues such as addiction, mental illness, health care, and death. Relatable characters in true-to-life situations will bring back the fans in droves. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]
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