Wells is a Louisiana-born Seattle actress and playwright; her loopy saga of a 40-year-old player in Seattle's hot theater scene who must come to terms with her mama's past in steamy Thornton City, Louisiana, reads like a lengthy episode of Designing Women written under the influence of mint juleps and Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!. The Ya-Yas are the wild circle of girls who swirl around the narrator Siddalee's mama, Vivi, whose vivid voice is "part Scarlett, part Katharine Hepburn, part Tallulah." The Ya-Yas broke the no-booze rule at the cotillion, skinny-dipped their way to jail in the town water tower, disrupted the Shirley Temple look-alike contest, and bonded for life because, as one says, "It's so much fun being a bad girl!"
Siddalee must repair her busted relationship with Vivi by reading a half-century's worth of letters and clippings contained in the Ya-Ya Sisterhood's packet of "Divine Secrets." It's a contrived premise, but the secrets are really fun to learn.
Mandy (USA: WA) (2006/09/29): Such a hilariously funny, heart-warming book! I love all of Rebecca Wells books - but this is by far the best!
Lori (USA: MN) (2008/04/29): I read this l o n g before the movie was even thought of - as far as I know. Although I suppose they could have thought of a movie as soon as it was printed, but I doubt it. Anyway - I loved it then, saw the movie years later and recently re-read the book - just because. As good as the movie was - which was VERY good - I like the book better.