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Little Altars Everywhere

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
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5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    A Disjointed Roller Coaster of a Story

    Despite the less than flattering title I gave this review, I do recommend reading it. This is not a traditional novel with a specific beginning, middle, and end, but rather a collection of stories--funny, sad, and, yes, horrific--told from the viewpoints of various family members growing up on a plantation in Louisiana in the early 1960's. The book was split in two sections, with the second half devoted to the now adult children of Vivi and Big Shep and how they turned out after leaving the fold. While Well's stories reflected a range of emotional ups and downs, I think she did a good job of capturing the realities of growing up in an abusive, alcoholic household. Every disagreement is over the top and threatens violence. Every mildly funny moment is rolling on the floor laughter. In short, every reaction is to the extreme. And kids living in the middle of it, simply accept it as a fact of life--what else can they do? I did, however, have one big problem with this book and that was in tying it to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which I had read first several years ago. Divine Secrets painted Vivi, the matriarch, as complex and difficult at times, but not necessarily detestable. Little Altars, however, made her a monster--and the worst kind of a monster--the kind people just shrug off, ignore, or whose monstrous behavior simply gets buried or explained away. I have to say after reading Little Altars Everywhere, I had a lot of trouble with Well's seeming celebration of the Ya-Ya's and their notion of 'sisterhood'. Surely these women all knew the abusive bent of their leader Vivi, but like the doctors who looked the other way at Siddalee's whipping marks when they treated her for her asthma, they seemed to simply ignore it. In my book that's not sisterhood--that's just plain sick. I know movies often stray far from the storyline of the book, but after reading 'Little Altars', I'm glad I never saw Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood--because I would end up hating all these women for their collusion. Enough said--read it anyway. If nothing else, it is certainly a thought-provoking collection of childhood memories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    INTERESTING

    As one of the other reviewers said -- I was a little put off at first because of the format this book was written in. But as I moved along I thought it compelling. It did seem to fall apart a little at the end so I scanned. Its different and I would recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2005

    Interesting

    With the new Ya-Ya's book just out, and who doesn't like to go around saying Ya-Ya's, I decided to finally buy the first two. What an interesting, sweet, troubling story. I found myself drawn into everyones story and cannot wait to start the second book tomorrow. I am glad I decided to start with the first book. Have to admit I was curious about how much the movie deviated from the actual book. It is good to have all this background information from 'Little Altars Everywhere'. Life isn't always how it seems to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2002

    Sad,Funny,heart wrenching,hilarious

    What a wonderful way to capture the spirit of the Ya Ya's and their families. I feel like I'm that much closer to them. I have also noticed I'm a part of some Ya Ya's and didn't even know it! Girl Power!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2002

    Trying to Make It Last

    I read Divine Secrets first and loved it and then decided to read Little Altars. I do love Ms. Wells' writing style. I laughed, I cried, I cringed -- especially at 'Snuggling' and the parts with the children being hit with a belt-- both of which leave me with such a dark feeling about Vivi but at the same time realizing what a very sick person she was in more ways than one. I feel like I'm with these people--they come alive to me. I'm trying to make this book last but I can't help reading it quickly. Lots of dysfunction and pain, lots of laughs and fun...just like real life!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    little altars not as good as Ya-Yas

    I thought Little Altars was great up until I read the chapter 'Snuggling'. I read Divine Secrets first and I think the above chapter ruins Vivi Walker's character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    enjoyable!

    i have to admit that i was nervous about reading this book. i wanted to read both books because i had seen the movie, but there were an equal amount of good and bad reviews. i didn't want this book to ruin the movie for me and it didn't. the book was great and you really got to see what this family was like from all perspectives. the only reason i didn't give it 5 stars was because every one of the walker children were heard from when they were older except lulu. the little bit that involved her at the baptismal left me wanting to know more about who she was now that she was older. i think if you liked the movie you will like little altars everywhere. i know some people read ya-ya before little altars, but in my opinion if you plan on reading the books you should definitely read them in order, it does make a difference.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000

    A Wonderful Sequel to her first!!

    I Loved this book!! It was so good i had my boyfriend read it and loved it to! I grew up in the south and it really brings you back. i could smell the summer and feel her pain all at the same time! This book was GRAND!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2000

    Amazing characters!

    We become a part of their lives as this sometimes tragic but moving story gets to the heart of a dysfunctional, loving, maddening family you won't soon forget. It will make you (very) mad, sad and happy all at the same time. Hysterical.

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    Posted February 20, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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