Book Reviews of Little Altars Everywhere

Little Altars Everywhere
Little Altars Everywhere
Author: Rebecca Wells
ISBN-13: 9780060759964
ISBN-10: 0060759968
Publication Date: 2/15/2005
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 164

3.5 stars, based on 164 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

110 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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Helpful Score: 4
This book goes hand-in-hand with Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

I honestly can't remember which one I read first . . . I don't think it matters as you can read either of them first and second and you won't be out of order.

Both books chronicle the history of 4 women in Louisiana. See my review for the other book -- both books touch on the same themes.
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Helpful Score: 4
Another great Ya-Ya book -- Wells effortlessly tells the story through the voices of everyone involved. (A lot of the movie "Ya-Ya Sisterhood" was taken from this book.)
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Helpful Score: 3
"Richer, darker and deeper than the second book or the movie, this book truly is a 'must' read if you want to understand the Walker family, especially the mystery who is Viviane Abbot Walker.

Starting as a simple short story ("Looking for My Mules," with Shep, Viviane and an old man lost on their farm), Rebecca Wells' tales of growing up in Louisiana in a less than perfect home grew first into Little Altars Everywhere, then into the Divine Secrets book and movie. Each chapter contains a well crafted short story, told from the viewpoint of different characters. Each chapter offers a title with the name of the narrator and year they are talking in. In some cases, the titles are enough to draw you in (Catfish Dreams; E-Z Boy War; The Princess of Gimmee.)

From the 60's to the 90's, each story offers a simple, but meaningful slice of the entire Walker family's story. Some are told in the present, some are memories of what happened long ago. The chapters weave together to give you a wider view of what was going on from different perspectives.

As you read, you'll find yourself piecing together the story of Sidalee, her siblings, her mother Vivi and father Shep, as well as Willetta and Chaney, the black couple who were hired help, and who have an outside view of the family.

Don't stop reading with this book, or you'll miss a view of the whole person -- doting mother, child abuser, unloved child, shattered schoolgirl, broken hearted, passionate lover, distant wife and mother as well as a view of Shep as a fallible human being and how he contributed to Vivi's 'condition' and the affect it had on their children.

A treasure of a book, you may find it more unsettling than the movie or the second book. Excellent writing, it will leave you wanting to know more (unless you've already read the second book!)"
- Dale A. Blanchard
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Helpful Score: 3
excellent read if you enjoyed the YA-YA's or appreciate the gumbo that is the Great State of Louisiana.
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Helpful Score: 3
One of my favorite books of all time. I laughed out loud uncontrollably in several places.
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Helpful Score: 3
I though it was a great read and lots of fun.
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Helpful Score: 2
As a sequel/prequel to The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, I enjoyed this book marvelously. One of my favorites. Here, share :)
reviewed Little Altars Everywhere on + 93 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Not as good as "Ya Ya Sisterhood" but still a great read.
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Helpful Score: 2
This story is about the first family of the Ya-Yas, Siddalee and her siblings, their alcoholic mother and distant dad. It has sections on each family members POV which helps the reader to see how the dysfunction came to be, beginning with the previous generation.

I enjoyed the book, just as I enjoyed the Ya-Ya sisterhood novel, and the subsequent one about the children of the Ya-Yas. This was published in 2005. Rebecca Wells is a talented writer that keeps the reader engaged, enthralled and enthusiastic. I rate it high on my favorite fiction list!
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Helpful Score: 2
Just as good as The Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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Helpful Score: 2
Not as good as the first book, but still a good read.
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Helpful Score: 2
If you loved "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," you'll enjoy this one too. Funny and sad and satisfying.
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Helpful Score: 2
This is the prequel to Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. Great book, I couldn't put it down! Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character, offering an interesting perspective on each situation. Wonderful!
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Helpful Score: 2
this is the book that preceeded the ya-ya sisterhood and introduces them . I liked both of these books
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Helpful Score: 2
This was an easy read. It was nice to read about the same characters from the Ya Ya Sisterhood.
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Helpful Score: 1
More about the Ya-ya's and their history. Told from different characters' perspectives.
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Helpful Score: 1
Rebecca Wells' first novel, set in the South, is filled with interesting and dysfunctional (in a good sense) characters. Our book club read it; ratings ranged from 5-8 (10 is the max).
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Helpful Score: 1
A brilliant piece of work. If you like The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood you have to read this book.
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Helpful Score: 1
Rebecca Wells' long-awaited first novel is a brillant piece of work...a structural tour de force...a classic Southern tale of dysfunctional and marginal madness. The author's gift for giving life to so many voices leves the reader profoundly moved." This is one of my very favorite authors and books. I will immediately buy and read anything she writes. This is an awesome book!
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Helpful Score: 1
If you like the Ya Ya's, you will love this book.
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Helpful Score: 1
wonderful characters set in the south
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Helpful Score: 1
This book is the prequel to "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterood." I really enjoyed the "Ya Ya Sisterhood," but did not like this book so much. It just wasn't written as well and was not as interesting.
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Helpful Score: 1
An enjoyable book. I love to have glimpses into the Southern culture.
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Helpful Score: 1
Great follow up to The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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Helpful Score: 1
If you read (or listened) to the Ya-Yas you will want to hear this tale too. It is the insightful, piercing and unflinching evocation of childhood of Sidda Walker, Vivi Walkers daughter.
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Helpful Score: 1
The first book by the author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, it tells the backstories of the Ya-Ya characters.
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Helpful Score: 1
Little Altars Everywhere is the companion to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. This is an abridged version that is read by the author. Normally, I don't like abridged versions of books, but Rebecca Wells does such a great job performing this book that it is worth it.
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Helpful Score: 1
Wells presents an astonishing family of voices, potent in its pain, dazzingly brilliant in its stretches and perceptions. Thisx hilariously sad immersion into walker family of Thorton Loiusiana will leave few readers unchanged.
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Helpful Score: 1
Good read, especially if you read it along with Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood, this is the begining of the Ya yas.
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Helpful Score: 1
Story about friends and family.
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Helpful Score: 1
Lighthearted and funny. I am from Lousisiana, and enjoyed reading all about the ways of people. Good read!
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This was a very "different" book.
It tells the story of a family from Thornton, Louisana. At times funny at times sad and disturbing.
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A classic Southern tale of dysfunctional and marginal madness. The author's gift for giving life to so many voices leaves the reader profoundly moved! Great reading!
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The first novel of the Ya-Yas, this one has some of the backstory to the stories told in "Divine Secrets".
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I'm glad I read this one before Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. It was a quick, insightful read.
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This book made me laugh out loud!
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Simply delightful.
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I love it.
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Just as good as the Ya Ya Sisterhood...
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Very enjoyable - should read BEFORE Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood
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It's been a while since I read this but I do remember liking it a lot. I read this one "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood".
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disappointing since having read Well's other books, a bit boring in the beginning.
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I liked this book overall...it is sometimes hard to read about totally disfunctional people...but can be mildly entertaining at the same time.
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Growing up story of a daughter of one of the "Ya-Yas". I enjoyed it, but also found it unsettling at times. First one of the series I've read. Don't know if I'll read the rest.
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A deceptive book. Seems like a light and sassy novel about Southern ladies, but oh, the disfuncion that lies just under the surface. Some sections seem a little overwrought, but given the subject matter, I would say she managed to pull it of rather well.
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I loved this book almost as much as the Devine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. It's a "prequel" almost, written chapter-by-chapter from the points of view of different characters, taking place during the times the Ya-Yas were women with school-aged children. Lovely picture of Southern living in the 1960s and also haunting at times. Funny throughout.
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A lot of fun
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The pre-sequel to Ya-Ya's. Good reading. I strongly recommend reading this book prior to Ya-Ya.
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Another great book by the author of the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood!
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The basis for The Divie Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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Precursor to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood-- great read!
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The prequel to The Ya Yas, this is a more serious and thoughtful book about the origins of mental illness and child abuse and neglect. Very moving book!
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loved this book. i felt like i knew the characters personally. looking forward to more rebecca wells.
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Good southern literature. Great characters. Looking forward to reading Wells' next book.
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Her first novel about the Walker clan of Thornton, Louisianna. Wonderful characters and a great Southern tale of dysfunction and marginal madness.
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Enjoyed another chapter in the Ya Ya world.
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The Yaya's story of when they were younger.
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This is a quick, easy read. I really enjoyed it.
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This is the first book in the "Ya-Yas Series," the most famous of which being "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." Serving as a prequel to "Divine Secrets...," "Little Altars Everywhere" is split into two parts and every chapter is told from the perspective of a different character in the Walker family (with a few exceptions). The first half of the book focuses on the 1960s and is written in a relatively light tone for the most part. The chapters from the children especially focus on how life was so exciting living with Vivi Walker as their mother because things were never boring. The second half of the book is much darker, takes place primarily in the 1990s, and explores how growing up with eccentric, alcoholic Vivi has impacted her children into adulthood.

I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second half of the book. I understand that the second half shows how the craziness of Vivi impacted her children later on in life, but certain parts really bothered me. I was left feeling frustrated that there was no effective help for Vivi (medical or otherwise) or the children in the 1960s, unlike today where Social Services would have intervened. Vivi was painted to be much more of a monster in this book than the sympathetic character she is in the two sequels. I read this book first and definitely like "Divine Secrets" much, much better. Reading this first, though, does help explain certain character traits in the later books so it's not a total waste of time, but I think that "Divine Secrets" can totally be enjoyed without reading this one if you'd rather be left with a "feel good" feeling instead of feeling frustrated and helpless to help the characters, then annoyed when certain instances from the book are altered or deleted from the sequels since it changes how you feel about Vivi ultimately.
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I loved this book. I loved the characters and the descriptive history and how the relationships intertwined. I loved the writing style. I really cared about these characters. Great read.
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The book was so-so. It was interesting to a point but not interesting enough for me to finish reading. I've read Ya-Ya books before and they're ok but guess on the whole, not my cup of tea. If you like Ya-Ya, I guess you would like this one though it jumps around a lot.
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This is the prequel to the "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood."
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Great read. anyone raised in the south will recognize someone here...hopefully, minus the child abuse/neglect :-/ but still...a great read.
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wonderful book
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Wonderful book! It brought back a lot of memories. I'm glad I read it before 'Divine Secrets'.
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Great - read all of the books by Ms Wells!!
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This book is the prequel to "The Divine Secrets of teh Ya Ya Sisterhood". Told mainly from the perspective of a young Sidda Walker, it introduces us to her mother and her friends, the Ya-Yas. The book also relies on flashbacks told by several of the other characters that we know from "Divine Secrets".

I enjoyed this book, but the book had an overall sadder tone than "Ya-Ya".
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Much darker then Divine Sisters....But I can't wait to read Ya Ya's in Bloom!
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I did enjoy this book, however it wasn't as good as the first one, it just didn't flow as well but it did still capture you and send you back to a different time. The characters seem to be part of my own family. Give it a try!!
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Fast read and entertaining!
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Very enjoyable read. If you have the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, YOU MUST read this one. Goes much deeper into the Walker family and Vivi and Shep.
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This is a prequal to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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Siddalee Walker, a successful New York theater director, takes turns with her family in telling the story of their Louisiana upbringing, their experiences in the classrooms of the Penguins of Our Lady of the Divine Compassion, and the anguishes of childhood.
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Enjoyable, similar to the other ya-ya books.
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I loved this book I guess because it reminded me a bit of my own crazy, dysfunctional childhood. Fun to read. Funny and tragic all at the same time.
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et in the early 60's and 90's in small-town Louisiana. The story is narrated in turn by members of a curiously likable family--of terrible parents and unstrung kids--and by a pair of depressingly noble black servants. After a 1991 erotic dream tribute to Mama Viviane by daughter Siddalee, Part I begins with Siddalee, in 1963, telling of the Girl Scout camping weekend led by Mama and one of her ``Ya-Ya'' chums. (The Ya-Yas drink bourbon and branch water, play a kind of poker and shout and drink again, and call everyone ``Dahling'' like their idol Tallulah.) Meanwhile, those moments that ``came and went,'' the chances to be kind and set things right, are on the mind of Daddy, ``Big Shep,'' in his story. Both parents are awash in self- pity, feel threatened, and, to make things worse, Big Shep is not really one of the Old Boys, being Baptist (he talks to ``Old Podnah'' in the fields) and a farmer. Viviane feels no one knows what she really is and hates Siddalee's love of books: ``Life is not a book. You can't just walk away from it when it gets boring and you get tired.'' The parents drink away the silences within, while the children see all but don't really know all--until Part II and 1991, when they remember and examine their memories with hatred, bitterness, and, crazily, adult love. The servants disclose terrible cruelty; one son discloses sexual abuse; and another son pays witty tribute to the homeland and people in bitter cynicism and true affection. Wells's people pop with life, but it's quite a stretch from a sour mash Auntie Mame to an abusive Mommie Dearest without some fictional coherence; here, violence seems grafted rather than grown. But Wells's view of Mama Vivi and a Ya-Ya, bagged to the ears and rocketing down the road, is memorable.
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I loved this book so much....it's a favorite!!!
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This is the prequel to Divine Sisters of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I wish I had read it first, but it fleshes out a lot of what the DSYYS did not. Enjoyable read, although some of the characters are not loveable.
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It was hard for me to read because Id seen the YaYa Sisterhood movie and I kept picturing James Garner as the father. I like James Garner, however I found the father in the book to be unlikable, thus the conflict. The movie made it seem like the characters were eccentric and fun, reading the book I got the impression that they were certifiable and I kept wondering where child protective services was.

I think I want to read the YaYa Sisterhood eventually, just to see if the characters in the book stay true to form.
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Great book. A great prequel to Divine Secrest of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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EXCELLENT!
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Probably my favorite author.
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now i want to read dive secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood
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I just couldn't get into this book. I read 2 chapters and gave up. However I didn't like Ya-Ya sisterhood either so maybe that is why.
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Excellent book - well written. I feel like a southerner after reading it.
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If you've read "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" you've got to read this one! Great book!!
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I was hesitant at first to read this...because every chapter was told in a different characters point of view but I am a huge fan of the Yaya's it was a good book ;)
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If you laughed (cried) like I did at \"Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,\" then you\'ll love this \"prequel!\"
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Good book, I enjoyed it quite a bit, much better than ''Divine secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood'' which I had trouble finishing.
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good read
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This books is described as a companion to to the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. While it contains our key players in Ya Ya and funny I didn't feel it was as entertaining as Ya Ya was.
However, I did feel it provided background information that was missing from Ya Ya. It told the stories of why some people were the way they were which helped me understand Ya Ya a little more.
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Another cutesy book and fast read by Rebecca Wells.
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Loved this one too
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This was a great book! I really got into the story. Now I am starting Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood which follows this book.
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This is a great story about the Ya-Ya sisters. This is almost funnier than the other one. The girls get themselves into some really funny adventures.
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A cute story..part of 'the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood.'
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The story of the children of Viviane from the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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Another great Ya Ya book, once you start you can't quit!
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a little yellow on pages. not bad...still readable..just an older book
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Second book in the series of three.
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Great story!
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Enjoyable fluff. High calorie, low protein.
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Loved it...:)
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A sequel to the famous Ya-Ya Sisterhoos, this story covers the lives of the Ya-Ya's children.
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The Ya-yas: the early years.
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If you love the Ya-Yas!
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Not every "YaYa" is having fun and least of all their children. Vivi and Big Shep grow old together but I find that Vivi isn't all that. Her youn'ins and her friends and Help have opinions and observations that shed new light on the family. Intimate details are revealed and Love plays a bigger part in everyone's lives. Very Very in depth.
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A great first novel
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The first novel by the author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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This is a large size paperback.