Deborah's Reviews > Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
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's review
Feb 06, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: southern, soul-searching
Read in February, 2012

My enjoyment of this book was discolored by the long, long buildup. The Southern inferiority complex is readily apparent. Sidda, the main character, offers up proof that she has left Southern roots behind to become the very cliché of a sophisticated, "successful" urbanite: she has a good career, is in therapy, has a jaded prior love life, and is in a successful relationship ~ which bothers her enough that she immediately puts said relationship in jeopardy. The mother-daughter conflict is laid out. Sidda has been betrayed by a reporter into airing dirty secrets about her mother, thus alienating her family. Delightful to some, disgusting to others, will be the Jane-Fonda-like depiction of Catholicism, laced with profanity and blasphemies enough. Finally comes the story. The plot device is a trip through the minutia of the Ya-Ya scrapbook. The Ya Ya sisters themselves form a tight-knit, kooky group of long-time friends, but the scraps and letters don't tell all (and can be downright boring). I nearly gave up reading, but decided to skim. Finally, the story becomes more absorbing. I found the meat of Vivi's story to be worth reading. That part is spicy, warm, poignant, and insightful, in an Oprah kind of way. The traumas described therein seem very "real," and Vivi is somewhat redeemed; but, lest we come to like her too much, her daughter throws in the obligatory Southern racism. The book has nice moments, though it reads more like a memoir than a novel. Granted, this is not my usual choice of reading material, but the title had given me hope. I was lukewarm about the movie and the book just didn't keep my interest. Still, my opinion shouldn't deter any reader who does love Oprah-like soul searching.


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