Ya-Yas in Bloom
  • Ya-Yas in Bloom
  • Ya-Yas in Bloom
  • Ya-Yas in Bloom
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Ya-Yas in Bloom

3.4 51
by Rebecca Wells

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Rebecca Wells's wonderful third book in her Ya-Ya trilogy, which includes Little Altars Everywhere and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, is sure to provide reading that makes you laugh and cry, a book that will break your heart and mend it again.

Ya-Yas in Bloom reveals the roots of the Ya-Yas' friendship in the 1930s, following Vivi,

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Rebecca Wells's wonderful third book in her Ya-Ya trilogy, which includes Little Altars Everywhere and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, is sure to provide reading that makes you laugh and cry, a book that will break your heart and mend it again.

Ya-Yas in Bloom reveals the roots of the Ya-Yas' friendship in the 1930s, following Vivi, Teensy, Caro and Necie through sixty years of marriage, child-raising, and hair-raising family secrets.

When four-year-old Teensy Whitman prisses one time too many and stuffs a big old pecan up her nose, she sets off the chain of events that lead Vivi, Teensy, Caro, and Necie to become true sister-friends. Using as narration the alternating voices of Vivi and the Petite Ya-Yas, Siddalee and Baylor Walker, as well as other denizens of Thornton, Louisiana, Wells show us the Ya-Yas in love and at war with convention. Through crises of faith and hilarious lapses of parenting skills, brushes with alcoholism and glimpses of the dark reality of racial bigotry, the Ya-Ya values of unconditional loyalty, high style, and Louisiana sass shine through.

But in the Ya-Yas' inimitable way, these four remarkable women also teach their children about the Mysteries: the wonder of snow in the deep South, the possibility that humans are made of stars, and the belief that miracles do happen. And they need a miracle when old grudges and wounded psyches lead to a heartbreaking crime...and the dynamic web of sisterhood is the only safety net strong enough to hold families together and endure.

After two bestsellers and a blockbuster movie, the Ya-Yas have become part of American culture — icons for the power of women's friendship. Ya-Yas in Bloom continues the saga, giving us more Ya-Ya lore, spun out in the rich patois of the Louisiana bayou country and brim full of the Ya-Ya message to embrace life and each other with joy.

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Editorial Reviews

Southern Living
“Unforgettable characters.”
Seattle Times
“The charm here is in the details, the dialogue, and Wells’ canny observations about life in Thorton, Louisiana.”
Rocky Mountain News
“Hilarious…Had me laughing out loud…Brims with the Ya-Yas’ hallmark irreverence.”
Detroit Free Press
“A must-read…Rollicking anecdotes.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Wells is a marvelous writer.”
Wilmington Star News (NC)
“A sharp ear for dialogue and one of the finest gifts for verbal insult this side of Dorothy Parker.”
The Sentinel
“Having friends like the Ya-Yas is something every woman wants and the lucky ones get.”
USA Today
“Reveals the roots of the friendship of the Ya-Ya sisterhood.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune
“Readers in touch with their inner Ya-Yas will feel right at home in Thornton.”
“Every bit as joyful as the original…Uplifting, uproarious, saucy, and smart…lives up to the highest expectations”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“Irrepressible…Touching…A pleasure to read.”
Austin American-Statesman
“Charming…Sparks of humor and sass.”
Publishers Weekly
The Ya-Ya sisters shimmy on and off stage in this disjointed follow-up to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Wells's bestselling novel about the singular friendship and escapades of four larger-than-life Southern women. The author is off to a good start with the tale of how Vivi, Teensy, Caro and Necie met as little girls in 1930, their spunk and liveliness a harbinger of things to come. But the focus on the Ya-Yas' early years soon wavers and the novel is all over the map-here a few tales about the grown-up Ya-Yas, like Vivi's run-in with her son's first-grade teacher, a pompous nun; there a story about Vivi's eldest daughter, Sidda, one of the so-called "Petites Ya-Yas," and her directorial debut at age eight at a Valentine's Day party. A chapter appears out of nowhere from the viewpoint of Myrtis Spevey, a contemporary of the original Ya-Yas, who is so excessively jealous and resentful of the friends that she comes off as a cartoon character. After a vexing 30-year leap, Myrtis's creepy, emotionally ill daughter, Edythe, takes over the narrative, kidnapping one of the Ya-Yas' grandchildren. What begins as a collection of haphazard but entertaining snippets from the Ya-Yas' lives suddenly bumps up against a sober story about a missing child and the lengths to which parents will go to protect their young. Readers may lose patience as even the loose family-album format fails to hold up, but Wells still charms when she focuses on the redemptive power of family love and the special bond that comes from genuine, long-lived friendship. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (One-day laydown Mar. 29) Forecast: Flaws aside, this has a chance at #1, though it may not stick at the top of the lists as long as Divine Secrets. Major ad/promo. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fans of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood will find Wells's follow-up a major disappointment, lacking all the sparkle and insight into mother/daughter relationships that marked the introduction of characters Sidda, ViVi, Teensy, Necie, and Caro. This book is a collection of turgid vignettes highlighting moments in the lives of the Ya-Yas, told primarily from the point of view of Sidda and her mother, ViVi. Leaping randomly from the 1960s to the 1990s, these include such events as how ViVi met her three best friends, Sidda's first experience directing a Valentine's Day performance of the Ya-Yas, the first appearance of snow in their hometown of Thornton, LA, the Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and other random events. The dialog is leaden, the stories not particularly interesting. Of course, given Wells's well-earned popularity for her earlier titles and the aggressive marketing campaign that will surround this book, public libraries will get requests but should consider purchase only to meet demand. [See Prepub, LJ 12/04.]-Nancy Pearl, formerly with Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
More helpings of southern-fried sisterhood. Actually, in this third set of snapshots from the lives of four Louisiana friends (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, 1997, etc.), the men get the final epiphanies. But since these consist of politically correct nostrums like "masculine love . . . is not about power. It is not about judging. It is about a quiet calm, a quiet love," it's clear that girls still rule. For those who have been panting to know how the Ya-Yas first got together, Wells takes us back to 1930, when Teensy Whitman shoves a pecan up her nose and, rushed to the doctor's office where Viviane Abbott sits with an earache, intoxicates Vivi with "a magical wink." Bohemian Caro and good-girl Necie round out the quartet before the year is up, and the narrative then bounces around to show them as unconventional young mothers during the 1960s and cool grannies in 1994. That's the year when Edythe Spevey, the mentally disturbed daughter of a jealous farm girl who always hated the wealthy, flamboyant Ya-Yas, snatches Necie's three-year-old granddaughter, Rosalyn, from a video store. This scary development assorts very oddly with earlier feel-good episodes that show the Ya-Yas facing down such all-too-easy targets as Necie's narrow-minded husband George (he doesn't like the Beatles!) and a censorious nun (she's shocked when Vivi's six-year-old son brings in his mother's garter belt for Show and Tell!). Not even a kidnapping can bring real depth to the kind of characters who call their kids "the Petites Ya-Yas" and their grandchildren "the Tres Petites." Fortunately, since Wells inclines to southern cutesiness rather than southern gothic, little Rosalyn is rescued in short order-andin plenty of time for the annual Ya-Ya Christmas party. Wells closes with a chaotic pageant that's meant to be adorable and the stunning revelation that Judge George Ogden is actually not such a bad guy. Another divine jacket image will undoubtedly move books off the shelves, but this is pretty thin stuff for all but the most fanatical Ya-Ya devotees.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Ya-Yas Series, #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.76(d)

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