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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

by

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chapter One"Tap-dancing child abuser. That's what the Sunday "New York Times from March 8, 1993, had called Vivi. The pages of the week-old Leisure Arts section lay scattered on the floor next to Sidda as she curled up in the bed, covers pulled tightly around her, portable phone on the pillow next to her head.There had been no sign the theater critic would go for blood. Roberta Lydell had been so chummy, so sisterly-seeming during the interview that Sidda had felt she'd made a new girlfriend. After all, in her earlier review, Roberta had already proclaimed the production of "Women on the Cusp, which Sidda had directed at Lincoln Center, to be “ a miraculous event in American theater.” With subtle finesse, the journalist had lulled Sidda into a cozy false sense of intimacy as she pumped her for personal information.As Sidda lay in the bed, her cocker spaniel, Hueylene, crawled into the crook formed by her knees. For the past week, the cocker had been the only company Sidda had wanted. Not Connor McGill, her fiancé . Not friends, not colleagues. Just the dog she'd named in honor of Huey Long.She stared at the phone. Her relationship with her mother had never been smooth, but this latest episode was disastrous. For the umpteenth time that week, Sidda punched in the number of her parents' home at Pecan Grove. For the first time, she actually let it ring through.At the sound of Vivi's hello, Sidda's stomach began to cramp.“ Mama? It's me.” Without hesitation, Vivi hung up.Sidda punched automatic redial. Vivi picked up again, but did not speak.“ Mama, I know you're there. Please don't hang up. I'm so sorry this all happened. I'm really, really sorry. I--”“ There is nothing you can say or do to make me forgive you, ” Vivi said. “ You are dead to me. You have killed me. Now I am killing you.” Sidda sat up in bed and tried to catch her breath.“ Mother, I did not mean for any of this to take place. The woman who interviewed me--” “ I have cut you out of my will. Do not be surprised if I sue you for libel. There are no photographs left of you on any of my walls. Do not--” Sidda could see her mother's face, red with anger. She could see how her veins showed lavender underneath her light skin.“ Mama, please. I cannot control "The New York Times. Did you read the whole thing? I said, ‘ My mother, Vivi Abbott Walker, is one of the most charming people in the world.'” “ ‘ Charming "wounded.' You said: ‘ My mother is one of the most charming "wounded people in the world. And she is also the most dangerous.' I have it here in black-and-white, Siddalee.” “ Did you read the part where I "credited you for my creativity? Where I said, ‘ My creativity comes in a direct flow from my mother, like the Tabasco she used to spice up our baby bottles.' Mama, they ate it up when I talked about how you'd put on your tap shoes and dance for us while you fed us in our high chairs. They loved it.” “ You lying little bitch. They "loved it when you said: ‘ My mother comes from the old Southern school of child rearing where a belt across a child's bare skin was how you got your point across.'” Sidda sucked in her breath.“ They "loved it, ” Vivi continued, “ when they read: ‘ Siddalee Walker, articulate, brilliant director of the hit show "Womenon the Cusp, is no stranger to family cruelty. As the battered child of a tap-dancing child abuser of a mother, she brings to her directing the rare and touching equipoise between personal involvement and professional detachment that is the mark of theatrical genius.'“ ‘ Battered child'! "This is shit! This is pure character-defaming shit from the most hideous child imaginable!” Sidda could not breathe. She raised her thumb to her mouth and bit the skin around the nail, something she had not done since she was ten years old. She wondered where she'd put the Xanax.“ Mama, I never meant to hurt you. Many of those words I never even uttered to that damn journalist. I swear, I--” “ You Goddamn self-centered liar! It's no Goddamn "wonder every relationship you have falls apart. You know "nothing about love. You have a cruel soul. God help Connor McGill. He would have to be a fool to marry you.” Sidda got out of bed, her whole body shaking. She walked to the window of her twenty-second-floor apartment in Manhattan Plaza. From where she stood, she could see the Hudson River. It made her think of the Garnet River in Central Louisiana, and how red its water flowed.Mama, you bitch, she thought. You devouring, melodramatic bitch. When she spoke, her voice was steely, controlled.“ What I said was not exactly a lie, Mother. Or have you forgotten the feel of the belt in your hand?” Sidda could hear Vivi's sharp intake of breath. When Vivi spoke, her voice had dropped into a lower register.“ My love was a privilege that you abused. I have withdrawn that privilege. You are out of my heart. You are banished to the outer reaches. I wish you nothing butunending guilt.” Sidda heard the dial tone. She knew her mother had broken the connection. But she could not lower the phone from her ear. She stood frozen in place, the sounds of midtown Manhattan down below, the cold March light of the city fading around her.After years of directing plays in regional theaters from Alaska to Florida, after numerous Off-Off-Broadway productions, Sidda had been ready for the success of "Women on the Cusp. When the play finally opened at Lincoln Center that February, it was to unanimous golden reviews...

Synopsis:

The 1996 national bestseller brimming with unforgettable characters, family secrets, and incisive humor is now a major motion picture from Warner Brothers, scheduled for release July 12, 2002. The film stars Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Ellen Burstyn, and Maggie Smith, and is directed by Callie Khouri (Academy Award(-winning writer of "Thelma and Louise").

Synopsis:

“A big, blowzy romp through the rainbow eccentricities of three generations of crazy bayou debutantes.”
—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A very entertaining and, ultimately, deeply moving novel about the complex bonds between mother and daughter.”
—Washington Post

“Mary McCarthy, Anne Rivers Siddons, and a host of others have portrayed the power and value of female friendships, but no one has done it with more grace, charm, talent, and power than Rebecca Wells.”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch

The incomparable #1 New York Times bestseller—a book that reigned at the top of the list for an remarkable sixty-eight weeks—Rebecca Wellss Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a classic of Southern womens fiction to be read and reread over and over again. A poignant, funny, outrageous, and wise novel about a lifetime friendship between four Southern women, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood brilliantly explores the bonds of female friendship, the often-rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love, in a story as fresh and uplifting as when it was first published a decade and a half ago. If you havent yet met the Ya-Yas, what are you waiting for?

Synopsis:

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.

"Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" may call to mind "Prince of Tides" in its unearthing of family darkness; in its unforgettable heroines and irrepressible humor and female loyalty, it echoes Fannie Flagg's "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe."

Synopsis:

Now, four years after her award-winning, underground bestseller, Little Altars Everywhere, praised by Pat Conroy as "a splendid first novel," Rebecca Wells returns with a masterfully written novel that brims with insight, humor and compassion.

When Vivi and Siddalee Walker, an unforgettable mother-daughter team, get into a savage fight over a New York Times article that refers to Vivi as a "tap-dancing child abuser," the fallout is felt from Louisiana to New York to Seattle. Siddalee, a successful theater director with a huge hit on her hands, panics and postpones her upcoming wedding to her lover and friend, Connor McGill. Vivi's intrepid gang of lifelong girlfriends, the Ya-Yas, sashay in and conspire to bring everyone back together.

In 1932, Vivi and the Ya-Yas were disqualified from a Shirley Temple Look-Alike Contest for unladylike behavior. Sixty years later, they're "bucking seventy" and still making waves. They persuade Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of girlhood mementos titled "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

With the scrapbook in hand, Sidda retreats to a cabin on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, tormented by fear and uncertainty about the future, and intent on discovering the key to the tangle of anger and tenderness she feels toward her mother. But Vivi's album reveals more questions than answers and leads Sidda to encounter the legacy of imperfect love and the unknowable mystery of life.

With passion and a rare gift for language, Rebecca Wells moves from present to past, unraveling Vivi's life, her enduring friendships with the Ya-Yas and the reverberations of Siddalee. The collective power of the Ya-Yas, each of them totally individual and authentic, permeates this story of a tribe of Louisiana wild women who are impossible to tame.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood calls to mind The Joy Luck Club in its exploration of the relationships between mothers and daughters; in its unearthing of family secrets, it evokes The Prince of Tides. Ultimately, in its aching longing, in its deep humor, in its heartbreaking fun and in its joy and forgiveness, Rebecca Wells has created a big, original, incandescent novel whose Louisiana landscape and indelible characters radiate with grace, wit and love.

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.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood may call to mind Prince of Tides in its unearthing of family darkness; in its unforgettable heroines and irrepressible humor and female loyalty, it echoes Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Description:

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.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood may call to mind Prince of Tides in its unearthing of family darkness; in its unforgettable heroines and irrepressible humor and female loyalty, it echoes Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

About the Author

Rebecca Wells, a Louisiana native, is an author, actor and playwright. Her works for the stage include Splittin' Hairs and Gloria Duplex, for which she created the lead roles.

She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Western States Book Award for her first novel, Little Altars Everywhere.

She tours a one-woman show based on Little Altars Everywhere and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060502256
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Wells, Rebecca
Publisher:
HarperTorch
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
General
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Louisiana
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Female friendship
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Lousiana
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market PB
Series Volume:
018-02
Publication Date:
20020521
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
6.84x4.24x1.05 in. .51 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Used Mass Market
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Product details 480 pages Harpertorch - English 9780060502256 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The 1996 national bestseller brimming with unforgettable characters, family secrets, and incisive humor is now a major motion picture from Warner Brothers, scheduled for release July 12, 2002. The film stars Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Ellen Burstyn, and Maggie Smith, and is directed by Callie Khouri (Academy Award(-winning writer of "Thelma and Louise").
"Synopsis" by , “A big, blowzy romp through the rainbow eccentricities of three generations of crazy bayou debutantes.”
—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A very entertaining and, ultimately, deeply moving novel about the complex bonds between mother and daughter.”
—Washington Post

“Mary McCarthy, Anne Rivers Siddons, and a host of others have portrayed the power and value of female friendships, but no one has done it with more grace, charm, talent, and power than Rebecca Wells.”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch

The incomparable #1 New York Times bestseller—a book that reigned at the top of the list for an remarkable sixty-eight weeks—Rebecca Wellss Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a classic of Southern womens fiction to be read and reread over and over again. A poignant, funny, outrageous, and wise novel about a lifetime friendship between four Southern women, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood brilliantly explores the bonds of female friendship, the often-rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love, in a story as fresh and uplifting as when it was first published a decade and a half ago. If you havent yet met the Ya-Yas, what are you waiting for?

"Synopsis" by , 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.

"Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" may call to mind "Prince of Tides" in its unearthing of family darkness; in its unforgettable heroines and irrepressible humor and female loyalty, it echoes Fannie Flagg's "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe."

"Synopsis" by , Now, four years after her award-winning, underground bestseller, Little Altars Everywhere, praised by Pat Conroy as "a splendid first novel," Rebecca Wells returns with a masterfully written novel that brims with insight, humor and compassion.

When Vivi and Siddalee Walker, an unforgettable mother-daughter team, get into a savage fight over a New York Times article that refers to Vivi as a "tap-dancing child abuser," the fallout is felt from Louisiana to New York to Seattle. Siddalee, a successful theater director with a huge hit on her hands, panics and postpones her upcoming wedding to her lover and friend, Connor McGill. Vivi's intrepid gang of lifelong girlfriends, the Ya-Yas, sashay in and conspire to bring everyone back together.

In 1932, Vivi and the Ya-Yas were disqualified from a Shirley Temple Look-Alike Contest for unladylike behavior. Sixty years later, they're "bucking seventy" and still making waves. They persuade Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of girlhood mementos titled "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

With the scrapbook in hand, Sidda retreats to a cabin on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, tormented by fear and uncertainty about the future, and intent on discovering the key to the tangle of anger and tenderness she feels toward her mother. But Vivi's album reveals more questions than answers and leads Sidda to encounter the legacy of imperfect love and the unknowable mystery of life.

With passion and a rare gift for language, Rebecca Wells moves from present to past, unraveling Vivi's life, her enduring friendships with the Ya-Yas and the reverberations of Siddalee. The collective power of the Ya-Yas, each of them totally individual and authentic, permeates this story of a tribe of Louisiana wild women who are impossible to tame.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood calls to mind The Joy Luck Club in its exploration of the relationships between mothers and daughters; in its unearthing of family secrets, it evokes The Prince of Tides. Ultimately, in its aching longing, in its deep humor, in its heartbreaking fun and in its joy and forgiveness, Rebecca Wells has created a big, original, incandescent novel whose Louisiana landscape and indelible characters radiate with grace, wit and love.

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.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood may call to mind Prince of Tides in its unearthing of family darkness; in its unforgettable heroines and irrepressible humor and female loyalty, it echoes Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

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