Maisie'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
Mar 03, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: english-12
Read in March, 2009

Plot Summary
Siddalee Walker is a theater director in New York. The novel starts off with Sidda and her mom exchanging very harsh words, over the phone, on a recent newspaper article written about Sidda’s childhood experiences with Vivi walker as her mother. On an already strained relationship there is a new level of division between them. As well, Sidda tells her fiancée that she needs to postpone their plans of marriage because she is unsure if she can love someone properly. As the story continues, Sidda convinces her mother to send her a very special scrapbook documenting the life of her mother and her sisterhood called the Ya Ya’s. The Ya Ya’s are a group of 4 young ladies that have been best friends since a very young age. Sidda escapes to a secluded house, leaving her work and fiancée behind. She goes through the scrapbook and we are shown the little stories behind all of the pictures, letters, and other memorabilia. Sidda slowly discovers what her mother’s life was like and some of the things that she went through. Vivi’s mother was abusive and treated her very poorly and even sent her to Saint Augustine’s, a catholic correction facility. As these things are revealed to Sidda, she slowly forgives her mother for all of the wrong things she did to her. After a visit from the other three Ya Ya members, Sidda decides to go visit her mother and make things right. Her fiancée comes along as well and once Sidda is reconciled to her mother she ends up getting married in her parent’s field of sunflowers.

Personal Response
I vote No NO to Ya Ya’s. This novel was incredibly sad and depressing. It was so horrible to re-live the events of one bad generation to the next through Sidda and Vivi’s lives. There was a lot of drinking, abuse, hate, and lust, and in the end there really were no redeeming elements to counter these. It was a good guide on how not to live, raise children, love, treat your husband, treat your friends and much more. I found myself constantly wondering when it was going to get better but it never really did except in the last chapter when the two fornicators finally got married! The only other thing that I mildly appreciated was the way the of the Ya Ya sisterhood. They were always there for each other and took care of each other’s families when they couldn’t or needed help. With this said, it was also too bad the things that they let each other do to themselves and to their kids. I hope that this book is not based on any true story; sadly I think that this story has been others’ and is not just a fictional novel. Overall it was a sad book and I would only recommend it for people who have nothing better to read.

Favorite Quotes
When Sidda’s fiancée finally meets Vivi their conversation is as follows, “I tried to be the best momma I could,” Connor replies, “How did that go?”, Vivi replies, “No so hot.”

This quote is from when the four young girls have their naming ceremony at the beginning of their sisterhood, “Teensy Melissa Whitman I declare you, Princess Naked as a Jaybird, Caro Eliza Bennet I declare you Duchess Soaring Hawk, Necie Rose Kallaher I declare you Countess Singing Cloud, and I Viviane Joan Abbott am hereby and forever Queen Dancing Creek”.
Here is a quote in a letter from Vivi’s mom to Vivi, “Mother superior wrote me about her session with you last week. Because she is concerned with your spiritual welfare, she has decided that it is God’s will that from this day forward you will be known only by your saint name: Joan.”
Here is an emotional quote from when Vivi finds out her boyfriend is dead, “It’s Jack” he said, the weight of his hands heavy on her shoulders. “You’re crazy”, Vivi said, giving a small laugh, “You’re joking”.
In this quote we see more emotion from Sidda’s father, after the wedding ceremony, than in the whole book combined. As Sidda wipes away tears from her father’s eyes he says, “I hope your marriage is a good one, Baby Doll.”


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