BOOK REVIEW: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she's directed, her mother gets described as a "tap-dancing child abuser." Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda. Devastated, Sidda begs forgiveness, and postpones her upcoming wedding. All looks bleak until the Ya-Yas step in and convince Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of their girlhood mementos, called "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." As Sidda struggles to analyze her mother, she comes face to face with the tangled beauty of imperfect love, and the fact that forgiveness, more than understanding, is often what the heart longs for.

Truth, I've seen the movie.  I'm not sure how, if at all that colored by ideas regarding the book.  To be fair I didn't see the movie when it was at it's height of popularity and everyone was doing Ya Ya things at parties, with the family or with their friends.  It's difficult for me to see a movie after I have read the book.  Predominately because I feel like the movies never do the book justice.  However, 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', despite the differences between the book and the movie, was done well as a book and as a movie.  Perhaps because I read the book after the movie, it's rare I do it that way.

I truly enjoyed this book.  I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed the characters.  I reminds me a little bit of 'Sex in the City'.  Just go with me for a minute.  I have a friend who loves the show and the movies.  The intertwining of friends lives and the comfort of having friends at hand for the good, the bad, the ugly, the amazing.  I have another friend who said once that she could never be a 'Sex in the City' friend and if that is what was being sought in friendship then to look elsewhere.  The Ya-Ya's are 'Sex in the City' friends.  Always there, good or bad.  Always ready to hold up a friend, or the child of a friend.  Always there for the fun times and the hard times. Friends for life, no take backs.  They carry each others secrets and burdens.  The carry each others joy and laughter.

Friendship like that, today, is rare.  Friendships that span a lifetime are hard to find.  In today's world people are on the move.  We are more globally minded and leave behind parts of ourselves where we go. To stay in one area for a lifetime and be around the same people for a lifetime is something of the past.   Even if one or two stay the chances of four staying is small.  We go to college, we move to the city, we get careers and married.  Your friends from school change to your college friends.  They change to your career friends.  You may hold the friendships from childhood in memory but rarely do they continue in reality.

I think I liked this book mostly for the relationships.  To have those types of friendships is something we all long for, whether we realize it or not.  Someone to trust with your secrets, your heartbreaks, your tears.  Someone to trust with your joys, your hopes and dreams, and laughter.  We all long for someone to have a history and a future with.  And as women this is position that only a girlfriend, or girlfriends, can fill. 

I think, somewhere in writing this review, I've changed from writing an actual review to writing a blog post of thoughts and life lessons.  What I do know is that I believe that Rebecca Wells did an amazing job of creating an amazing cast of women that fills a space that we all long for in one way or another.  She's created women who knew how to care for each other.  She also created an imperfect world where no one is perfect, no matter how much they try or pretend to be.  Everyone is broken in one way or another.  And those women tried to teach us that no matter how good or bad a situation is.  No matter how vulnerable you feel you have to keep going.  Your time will come.  And those that love you will carry you through it all.

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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
About Rebecca Wells
Writer, actor, and playwright Rebecca Wells is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Ya-Yas in Bloom, Little Altars Everywhere, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which was made into a feature film. A native of Louisiana, she now lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

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