Like most of Terry McMillan’s novels, The Interruption of Everything is focused on a woman’s attempt to manage successfully her domestic and romantic relationships. Narrated from a first-person point of view, the novel is written in a conversational tone that invites readers to enter into the private world of a middle-class African American woman in the twenty-first century. The novel’s central tension arises from Marilyn’s realization that, in focusing so closely on the care and nurturing of her family, she has neglected to give herself the same quality of attention.
When The Interruption of Everything opens, Marilyn is hiding in a bathroom stall at work, taking stock of her life, and trying to prepare for the reality of menopause. While she is hiding, she inadvertently overhears one of her coworkers discussing with another the infidelity of the worker’s husband. Readers are thus plunged from the outset into the social reality of many middle-aged women. Unbeknown to Marilyn, she, too, is about to become familiar with this particular social experience, as she will shortly discover that her husband, Leon, has also had an extramarital affair. In addition, Marilyn soon discovers that she is not only menopausal but also pregnant.
In the midst of the upheaval caused by this discovery, one of Marilyn’s sons comes home from college to visit, her adult daughter announces her own pregnancy and imminent move to London, and...
(The entire section is 425 words.)