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Terry McMillan’s “Waiting to Exhale” sequel “Getting Happy” to be published this week

Fans of the bestselling novel “Waiting to Exhale” may have been holding their breath for a sequel all these years, but author Terry McMillan never thought she would revisit her most famous characters.

“I had not intended to write a sequel about these women. Not at all,” says McMillan, 58, of the four black 30-something women whose stories of love, affairs, fires and friendship were told in 1992’s “Waiting to Exhale” and are reprised in “Getting to Happy,” published in the United States this week.