REVIEW: WHO ASKED YOU?, BY TERRY MCMILLAN

81yhWWgYv9L._SL1500_Three sisters with very different lives form the core of Who Asked You? Venetia, Arlene, and Betty Jean are each pursuing their own lives, but somehow manage to stay connected with one another. Until some issues divide them.

Narrated alternately between the sisters and a few other characters, we learn what it feels like to be struggling with racial issues, poverty, and the difficulties of raising children in LA in the Twenty-First Century.

Betty Jean has seen one child go to prison, another one lose herself to drugs, and another one who sets himself apart from the family, as if he is superior. When BJ ends up raising her two grandsons, her sisters and adult children have a thing or two to say about it.

Arlene has the most to say. Critical and judgmental, her behavior causes a rift between her and BJ. But her own son has some unexpected issues of his own.

Venetia is not as openly critical of BJ, but she still seems to feel superior. Until something happens in her own life to bring her down to earth.

These characters were so real and sometimes even funny. I enjoyed the dialogue and how the author painted a picture of their lives that I could relate to, even though my own life is different. It takes a unique talent to make the characters relatable to those who have not experienced the same things. A major theme was single mothers of all races and walks of life doing the best they can to achieve their dreams. And in the end, finding out how to fashion their own futures, even when most of their lives are behind them. Four stars.

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