Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: A Novel

by Rebecca Wells | Women's Fiction |
ISBN: 0060928336 Global Overview for this book
Registered by collectorkerri of Springfield, Illinois USA on 1/13/2006
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by collectorkerri from Springfield, Illinois USA on Friday, January 13, 2006
Picked this up at the church used book sale. I've been meaning to read it for awhile.

Journal Entry 2 by collectorkerri at Springfield, Illinois USA on Monday, January 27, 2020
I guess it took me awhile to read this book. It’s been quite awhile since I saw the movie, but I don’t remember it being as dark as this book was in places. Sidda and Vivi had a complicated relationship, to say the least. I’m glad mine with my mom is simpler and much more pleasant. The book made me wish I had a group of friends as close as the Ya-Yas. I don’t think women bond in quite the same way as they used to; we’re all too busy.

Journal Entry 3 by collectorkerri at Springfield, Illinois USA on Monday, June 15, 2020
Delphi_Reader chose this book in the First Sentences Virtual Bookbox, so it is on its way to Greece.

Journal Entry 4 by wingDelphi_Readerwing at Δελφοί - Delphi, Fokida Greece on Friday, June 26, 2020
Thank you very much collectorkerri, this book arrived in Delphi yesterday!
I keep seen this title around but I've never read it! Here comes the chance!


First Sentence: Sidda is a girl again in the hot heart of Louisiana, the bayou world of Catholic saints and voodoo queens.

Journal Entry 5 by wingDelphi_Readerwing at Δελφοί - Delphi, Fokida Greece on Saturday, July 04, 2020
I think I have mixed feelings towards this book. I kind of liked it, but didn't love it.
First of all the world and attitudes of the people are completely alien to me. The language seemed strange and too regional ( I speak some French, so it wasn't so much the French in the mix, I found the English on the dialogues too weird to me- not been native English speaker made it even more foreign).

Then, the author falls in too loooong descriptions not only about feelings and thoughts of the protagonists, but about their food, drinks, clothes etc. Other than their cocktails and lots of alcohol in general, how much Coke are those people drinking?

Other negative point is the narration method. There is a scrap book there and it's supposed to represent the history of the Ya-Yas. So Sidda learns some things through photos, items and letters or makes phone calls and asks about stuff. At first this kind of worked. Then after days she discovers letters or photos or items she haven't notice at first (not plausible). And the author tells us-the readers- the story behind those items, but Sidda couldn't know. So how comes just flipping through a scrap book been a so revealing experience? And how realistic are the developments? The three YaYas visit to her but not Vivi's ?

Now, the characters and their stories... The modern Sidda thing left me completely cold. Her whole preface of life crisis so that the author will start the stone rolling was ridiculous. The whole marriage trop is ridiculous. Why everything in this kind of books has to do with weddings and people getting married? For whatever reason, Connor didn't want to get married before meeting Sidda. Sidda didn't want to get married in general. So what's the problem with them having a nice relationship without the bl00dy wedding/marriage thing? Sidda didn't want to have children. Suddenly at 40 she sees families around and starts getting too suggary about how it would be to be surrounded by children and how full her life would be. A woman who is supposed to have a full life with friends, a succesful career, a carrying boyfriend. Please give me a break! Sidda has issues from her childhood. We get that. So she sees a therapist for years, she doesn't make much progress, but a scrap book will suddenly change everything. Nothing interesting or realistic on this story! The end and especialy the final scenes of the book are sooooo ridiculous. A lachrymatory? Really????

Vivi had a weird life story. A crucial relevation about how happened she abused her children was again plain ridiculous. After what happened in her own teens with religious institutions (and how her father allowed this to happen anyway? Not believable!), she would never accept to do or believe what she did, even if she was high on drugs and disillutioned at the time. I'm tryin not to write any heavy spoilers here really, but this point of the book was completely ridiculous. And yes, I know I have use the term ridiculous a thousand times on this review.

To be honest all the characters in the book were kind of superficial, exagerated and yes, ridiculous. The four Ya Yas are eccentrics that keep behaving like 12 years old till their 70s, they have built their own separate world and somehow all people bend over to worship them. Their husbands tolerate their crazy behavior, have little saying on how they run their families, are fine for the Ya Yas to treat each other's home like a dormitory and call wherever/everyday and have impromptu parties or meetings or simply drive away on the spur of the moment, just because... There is little telling on how Vivi met and decided to marry Shep or any coherent explanation on how the relashionships among the male characters worked. Not one character in this book is realistic, but especially the male ones are made out of carton box paper. There is mention here and there of some friends of the Ya Yas, or some donation to so and so organisation, or a preface of some troubled woman selling beauty products that Vivi turns into an expert seller and then she disappears, but there is not real interaction between the Ya Yas and society or any foot in the ground on this book.

Furthermore, the Ya Yas are supposed to be some kind of weird Catholics who often go to confess, say weird prayers and try to make strange penitences by for example promissing not drinking for a month, which promisses they alter and break next day. The religion element is one that really baffled me in this book. Everything feels artificial and far-fetched. And don't let me started on how the author treats grave subjects such as racism to coloured people on the South and child abuse and alcoholism, which she touches very lightly.

What I did like: The strong friendship and the care of the Ya Yas for each others during the years. Although how it happened is a bit over the top, I "liked" the phase of young Vivi in St Augustine's and the escape with the aid of Genevieve. I liked the character of Genevieve up until the death of Jack (Then the author ruined her to me and in general). I liked the adventures of the yound Ya Yas. I liked their eccentricity and quirky spirit and not-politically correctness in latter years. If the author managed to balance the plot and their characters a bit, made them less self-centered (or Ya-Ya centered), made them more realistic and added some more everyday, real life element/troubles to their stories and told a tighter story, I think this book would have worked much better for me. Only if...

As it is, it stands like a fragmental, disjointed story of rich, aimless, airhead wifes/mothers with limited character developement, retribution element or realism.

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