Anna Ligtenberg'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
May 16, 2012

liked it

ISBN 0060928336 - A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Divine Secrets proves, yet again, that marketing can make a mountain out of any molehill. I really WANTED to like this book even half as much as the marketing told me I should, but I just couldn't work up that much enthusiasm about it.

Sidda is engaged and the wedding date nears when she freaks out, realizing she doesn't "know how to love" and runs off to contemplate her belly button. Blaming her lack of "knowing how to love" on her mother, Vivi, who Sidda recently offended - in the New York Times, no less! - Sidda finds herself adrift without the anchor that Vivi and her mother's friends had been for most of her life. Believing that the answer lies with these women, Sidda is fortunate when her mother relents just enough to send her a scrapbook of Ya-Ya-rablia. Sadly, little scraps don't tell the whole story and Sidda can't piece it together without help.

After the introduction of each scrap, Wells puts it in context for the reader, telling the story of Teensy, Caro, Necie and Vivi - the Ya-Yas. Sidda is NOT aware of these stories, except in rare instances when a character talks TO her or it is her own memory, which makes for some mild confusion. Sidda has to wade through the mess in her head and the scraps in the book in order to feel that she can love - and be loved.

Wells felt the need to subtly point to the fact that Sidda's fiance looks like Vivi's one true love, Jack, several times, but it is never clearly said and therefore seems pointless - most especially since the only person who doesn't seem to remark upon it is Sidda. Oddly, the only thing about the book that sticks in my head after finally finishing it is that every exaggeration was "eighty four thousand" - "saw it eighty four thousand times", "dyeing eighty four thousand eggs", etc.

Fans of chick-lit will like this book. Others, like me, will find themselves referring to it as "the blah-blah sisterhood". The story of the Ya-Yas themselves, without a character like Sidda in the way, might have been more interesting. On the up side for me, I did rather enjoy seeing religion portrayed as one of the worst evils in the story. Not awful, just not worth more than the current used price of one penny (plus shipping).

- AnnaLovesBooks

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