Admittedly, I am late to the party. I recently finished Terry McMillan's A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Penguin, 2002) and enjoyed it from cover to cover. There is no question that Ms. McMillan is a gifted storyteller and this work certainly does not disappoint. I am partial to stories which examine family dynamics, confront their inherent dysfunction, and lead the characters along the road to redemption. A Day Late more than delivered on my expectations.
Each chapter is narrated by one of the main characters. Readers will learn something about each family member's self-concept as well as their perceptions regarding the rest of the clan. Viola and Cecil Price, married for 38 years, are parents to their very adult (and very flawed) children: Paris, Lewis, Charlotte, and Janelle. I fell in love with Viola whose life served as a call to action for her family. A self-proclaimed "know-it-all", who believed that it was her duty to meddle in everyone else's business, Viola told the truth--whether anybody wanted to hear it or not. When she came to terms with her own personal missteps, Viola grabbed life by the horns and started anew. She also insisted that her family follow her lead. Trying really hard not to give anything away, just know that the effect that Viola's advice has on everyone else is a game-changer.
The lesson that I learned from A Day Late is to live every single day to the fullest. The next 5 minutes aren't promised, so when you decide to finally "get it together", time may not be on your side. Define who you are as a person. Follow your passions. Never stop learning. Challenge yourself beyond your limits. And if you are not sure of how to get started, pick up a copy of A Day Late and a Dollar Short. When you finish reading it, you will know exactly what you need to do.
Well done, Ms. McMillan. Very well done.