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Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood [Paperback]

Rebecca Wells
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Sep 1998
New edition of the international bestseller tying-in to major Warrier Bros. film When Siddalee Walker, eldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker (Ya-Ya extraordinaire - part Scarlett, part Katharine Hepburn, part Tallulah) is interviewed about a hit play she has directed, her mother is described as a 'tap-dancing child abuser'. Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda - devastating her daughter who postpones her wedding and puts her life on hold until she is granted forgiveness. Trying to repair the relationship, the Ya-Yas, Vivi's intrepid tribe of Louisiana girlfriends, sashay in and insist Sidda is sent 'The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', a scrapbook of their lives together from the day in 1932 when they were disqualified from a Shirley Temple lookalike contest for unladylike behaviour. Expected to raise babies, not Cain, the Ya-Yas are bonded for life in an unforgettable exploration of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the power of female friendship.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st HarperPerennial Ed edition (17 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928339
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,855,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Siddalee Walker's mother Vivi disowns her daughter when a reporter, who interviews the 40-year-old, successful director, describes her mother as a "tap dancing child abuser". Devastated, Sidda postpones her wedding. The Ya-Yas, Vivi's strong circle of friends since childhood, are horrified and agree to send Siddalee the scrapbook of "Divine Secrets" to try and help her to understand her mother and herself.

Sidda submerges herself in the wild, wondrous and wicked world of the Ya-Yas as she reads through half-a-century's worth of letters and clippings contained in the Ya-Ya Sisterhood's parcel of "Divine Secrets". Middle-class Louisiana quakes as the quartet makes its way through adolescence: from being disqualified from the Shirley-Temple-look-a-like competition because Teensy did a "poot", to attending the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta, only for Vivi's hoop skirt, "much to her confusion, to go entirely over the head of the person sitting in the seat in front of her", to spending a night in jail after floating naked on a hot southern evening in the town's water cooler.

Rebecca Wells, author of Little Altars Everywhere (in which Siddalee Walker describes the anguishes of childhood), has created a beautifully crafted, penetrating insight into society, friendship, the mother/daughter divide and religion. No subject is taboo as you dip in and out of the lives of Vivi, Teensy, Caro and Necie--the Ya Yas. --Nicola Perry --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

When Siddalee Walker, eldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker (Ya-Ya extraordinaire - part Scarlett, part Katharine Hepburn, part Tallulah) is interviewed about a hit play she has directed, her mother is described as a 'tap-dancing child abuser'. Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda - devastating her daughter who postpones her wedding and puts her life on hold until she is granted forgiveness. Trying to repair the relationship, the Ya-Yas, Vivi's intrepid tribe of Louisiana girlfriends, sashay in and insist Sidda is sent 'The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', a scrapbook of their lives together from the day in 1932 when they were disqualified from a Shirley Temple lookalike contest for unladylike behaviour. Expected to raise babies, not Cain, the Ya-Yas are bonded for life in an unforgettable exploration of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the power of female friendship.' One of those rare books you'll be pressing on all your friends' She --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murmur from a mere male ? 15 Oct 2003
Format:Paperback
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!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Divine Reading for a would-be Ya Ya 11 Dec 2002
Format:Paperback
I defy anyone to read this book and not call someone 'Dahlin' before they finish! Or at the very least begin to read in a Southern drawl! This book made me laugh out loud and cry at times - and it even made me examine my own treatment of people - mainly other females in my life. A fantastic gift for a well-loved friend/sister/mother.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the Divine Ya-Yas! 28 May 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I really loved this book! The Ya-Yas are just wonderful,strong and oh-so-human women: no men-haters, they are women-nurturers and cherishers instead. They are all strong women that have created a life-long bond of friendship that sustains them no matter what. Their strength comes from their closeness and their mutual understanding and appreciation, proving that women can really have a league of their own. By sharing their divine secrets, they show us that there is really such a thing as true friendship between women - minus the neeed for competition and bitching that they are so often accused of, and the need to play the victims against men. Well done, Ya-Yas!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to the title.........DIVINE!! 19 July 2003
Format:Paperback
This definitely rates amongst my top five favourite novels. I absolutely loved it. So real and atmospheric. I really felt I was in the Deep South!

The characters are totally real and alive and seem to come out of the page. This is a book with depth and life. It is very much about being compassionate and empathising, rather than blaming. But that makes it sound boring. And it's not. It's wacky and fun. In parts it is real 'laugh out loud' stuff and other parts were heartbreaking.But on the whole a very positive book. Just wonderful!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book! 8 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
this book is beautiful. it is definatly a chick-book though, but its worth plodding through the occassional shmaltz and luvie-duviness and getting to know the characters. the basic premise is of a dysfunctional mother and daughter getting to know each other late in life, as the daughter learns about her mother through a scrap book the mother kept with her friends- the ya-yas. the really iteresting bits though are the flashbacks- the enigmatic, cruel, beautiful Vivi, the 'tap dancing child-abuser'. This is like a cross between the Golden Girls and Gone with the Wind, but worth perservering with.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If I had realised this book was a self help guide I probably wouldn't have read it. It is cleverly disguised in a rich, sensual and beatiful story of sisterhood and relationships between mothers, daughters and friends that makes you ache to be a part of it. As someone who has spent a large part of my teenage and adult life blaming my "Vivified" mother for being somewhat emotionally retarded, each time this book moved me to tears and nearer to understanding and forgiveness was like a punch to the chest. The bursts of crying and laughter you will experience are inevitable and it really is one that you will press on every female you love.
love to Ya-Ya's everywhere x
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful thought provoking read! 10 Sep 2001
Format:Paperback
This has been the best book I have read in a long time, and I am amazed I didn't read it sooner as I read 2 or 3 books a week. It passed me by till I ordered this and the prequel together. I found the characters of the Ya Yas full of life and energy, and as the story continued, my picture of these friends grew until I dreamed of them. I wish I was a Ya Ya and had these pals like Ya Yas. I felt torn in emotion by Sidda's experiences of her mother's abuse, alcoholism and vigour in her character. This mother-daughter relationaship was one of the best I've read. I also found the descriptions of the relationships fascinating through different narrators and letters. Using a scrapbook as a stimulus was exciting, and made me want to explore the book myself. This book will stay long in my memory and will definitely be recommended for its laughs, tears and thought provoking episodes. My favourite moments were the descriptions of Gone With The Wind, the Shirley Temple lookalike competition, and the narration of Vivi's breakdown which was full of emotion and frustration for the reader as well as her friends. A fantastic book. READ IT!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant!
Published 26 days ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be lazy with. It transports you ...
A book to be lazy with. It transports you to another time & place......
Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars love love this book
I had read this book previously and absolutly loved it, I had lent it out to someone who hadnt returned it to me so bought it again! Read more
Published 6 months ago by gsgj44
1.0 out of 5 stars Book excellent by bok quality of manufactur awful
This book was not a cheap paperback and I was therefore very surprised to see it was made of cheap paper and the paper was not cut properly - My children could have made a better... Read more
Published 6 months ago by MR D P TYLER
1.0 out of 5 stars Mis-cut pages
Mis-sold as good condition. Item is new but pages are faulty as they are mis-cut. Had to return item so inconvenienced.
Published 11 months ago by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
This is the second time I have read this book. I love the story, plot and characters - all rooted in the "Deep South." Would recommend to everyone who loves a good read.
Published 14 months ago by Kenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
A very touching reading that explores female relationships. Thoroughly enjoyable, a bit of a tear jerker and very well written.
Published 15 months ago by Mrs S
3.0 out of 5 stars difficult to rate
A book club choice of ours so read eagerly. Took a long time to get going and three weeks later, 50% through the book
I was about to give up but on reading the next chapter... Read more
Published 15 months ago by sharrio
4.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
An interesting book, not particularly edifying, lots of swear words, but evocative of the era and unique for its portrayal of female friendship in a girl gang. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Pooki
3.0 out of 5 stars did not grab me
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood is the second of the Ya-Yas series by Rebecca Wells. Set in two main locations, it tells of Sidalee Walker's retreat to a remote cabin near... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Cloggie Downunder
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