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 ...
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 behavior. 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".
Publishers Weekly, 2002-10-07 Veteran narrator Ivey is magnificent in her performance of Wells's sprawling, delicious novel of lifelong female friendship and mother-daughter tension and reconciliation. When Siddalee Walker, a successful theater director, accidentally lets slip in an interview some less-than-flattering truths about her mother, Vivi, the ever-dramatic Vivi declares "You are dead to me!" But when Sidda reads Vivi's scrapbook detailing seven decades of friendship with her lifelong pals, the irrepressible Ya-Yas, she begins to understand her vivacious, unconventional, often difficult but never boring mother in ways she never has before. Ivey creates distinctive voices for each one of the multitude of characters not an easy task, since most of them are female and Southern. There's the four Ya-Yas, both as young, giggly girls and then as elderly women; Sidda as a child and a woman; and a plethora of relatives, siblings and friends. Ivey performs each character with conviction and emotion. Through her performance, listeners can see the characters, colorful events and the tangle and friction of close-knit, complicated relationships. Based on the HarperCollins hardcover. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1996-04-08 Carrying echoes of both Fannie Flagg and Pat Conroy, Wells's second novel continues the story of Siddalee Walker, introduced in Little Altars Everywhere (1992). When Sidda asks her mother, the aging belle Vivi, for help in researching women's friendships, Vivi sends her daughter a scrapbook. From this artifact of Vivi's own lifelong friendship with three women collectively known as "the Ya-Ya's," and from Sidda's response to it, a story unfolds regarding a dark period in Vivi and Sidda's past that plagues their present relationship. While anecdotes about the Ya-Ya's (such as the riotous scene at a Shirley Temple look-alike contest) are often very amusing, the narrative is beset by superficial characterization and forced colloquialisms. Told through several narrative vehicles and traveling through space and time from Depression-era Louisiana to present-day Seattle, this novel attempts to wed a folksy homespun tale to a soul-searching examination of conscience. But while Wells's ambition is admirable and her talent undeniable, she never quite makes this difficult marriage work. $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (May) FYI: HarperPerennial will publish the paperback edition of Little Altars Everywhere, which won the Western States Book Award, in May. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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