Friday, May 8, 2009

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

I loved this book. Let's get that out of the way, since there's very little likelihood that I can be objective about it. I pretty much bawled all the way through it. In the second book of the Ya-Ya trilogy, we return to the lives of the Walker clan, mostly seen through the eyes of Sidda. She is now a famous theater director, approaching her forties, and on the brink of marrying. Before Sidda can devote herself to someone for the rest of her life, however, she must first deal with the damage that her mother inflicted on the first half of her life. Unable to cope with the memories of what her mother had done, Sidda flees from the man she intended to marry and takes up residence at a friend's cabin in Washington state.

While trying to sort through her life and figure out who she is, Sidda realizes that she must come to understand who her mother is, how she got that way, and what Sidda's relationship with her mother is all about. She is aided in this quest by a giant scrapbook, the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. It contains her mother's memories of growing up with her three best friends, the Ya-Yas.

The story alternates between Sidda's present-day experiences in soul-searching in Washington state and flashbacks to her mother's life in Thornton, Louisiana. The reader learns much more about Vivi Abbott Walker than was known in the previous novel. Although I hated Vivi at the end of Little Altars Everywhere, I actually came to sympathize with her, if not actually like her, by the end of this book. The mother-daughter relationship is THOROUGHLY explored here, as well as Sidda's hesitations before marriage. Both of those subjects being particularly close to my heart these days, I couldn't stop crying from about chapter nine on. My fiance' was wondering what in the hell was wrong with me, as I came into the living room with a puffy, red, tear-stained face. I read most of the book in a day, which hasn't happened much for me lately.

So, does Sidda heal her relationship with her mother? Does she marry Prince Charming? Does she ever leave the cool, green forests of the Northwest? I won't answer those questions. I WILL tell you, however, that things work out the way the reader feels they should. Four and a half out of five Whatevers. (Half a point off for being a little slow to start.)

READ THIS BOOK. Give it to your mama and have her read it. Give it to your daughter and have her read it, too. I think it would also make for a great book group discussion.


Staci said...

I loved the movie and am ashamed to tell you that I haven't read this yet!! But I will..I promise!

Lexi said...

Well, I haven't seen the movie yet. Was it worth it? I may have to check it out...