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IN BRIEF

Fiction

June 02, 1996|ERIKA TAYLOR

HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK by Terry McMillan (Viking: $23.95; 377 pp.). Stella is a 42-year-old divorced, African American woman with a good job, a good kid, good friends and a nice house. Yet something is wrong. In Stella's case the solution features a tropical beach and a younger man, though not necessarily in that order.

"How Stella Got Her Groove Back" is a very satisfying novel that suffers from one simple problem: It is 10 pounds overweight. Stella thinks in lengthy, digressive sentences that if trimmed just a little bit would be hugely entertaining, but now tend to collapse under their own weight.

"How Stella Got Her Groove Back" is a book about having the courage to behave irrationally. Although it might have benefited from one more edit, this is still a funny, romantic, good-hearted novel.

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