If a humble (British) male is permitted a view on this, I'll say forget all those 'Mars' & 'Venus' theories. Read this book and a few more males may get to understand why we guys so often just don't understand!
Having just viewed the movie, it's prompted memories of reading the book about a year ago. Both experiences were thoroughly enjoyable - in a vividly coloured, brightly populated, emotionally roller-coasting kind of way.
I've never been to Louisiana, but I felt I could bathe up to my chin in the lushly sensual atmosphere created here.
I have, though, experienced something of the colourful/dysfunctional personalities of some of the main characters, and there are many strong resonant chords to be felt. As others too have said, there are good lessons, delightfully conveyed, to be learned here - about shared lives, parenthood, childhood (the good, and the less so), friendships, understanding, betrayal, and most of all, that sometimes most testing act of grace - forgiveness.
I laughed out loud, I quietly wept, I got completely drawn in. Thank you Rebecca Wells. Go read it - the characters just sashay off the pages straight into your heart - I loved it!