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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.

Topics: Family, Alcoholism, American Author, Short stories, Louisiana, Mothers, Siblings, American South, Daughters, and United States of America

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061758843
List price: $9.99
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My overall feeling for this book was disappointment. Despite the fact that this was the abridged version to begin with, even this 5-CD set was too long for me. I just wanted it to be done so that I could move on to something else. I'm not sure how to pinpoint why this book failed me so. It may have been the fact that it had been so long since I'd read the other Ya-Ya books & I just couldn't remember enough to relate this one to the previous reads. It may have been the fact that this one was written as a series of vignettes in an almost random order, giving this book a disjointed feel. And because of that, I never felt like the book ended up going anywhere. Or maybe I've simply outgrown the Ya-Ya's and have moved on to prefer other types of literature. Whatever the case, this one just didn't do it for me.more
I "read" this book on audio CD's and loved it. The narrator, Judith Ivey, did a superb job ... normally I cringe to hear Southern accents rendered by actors, but she did just fine. Perhaps it was her presentation, or the fact that the audio edition I had was abridged, but the negative aspects of the book I read about in other reviews were missing in my experience of the book, and it may be the presenter and the pruning made for a better book. The abridged version has a number of stories, but most concern Baylor and the story of the kidnapping and everyone's reaction to it is covered by half the disc time. Verging on sentimental, but coming across more as a blend of tender and strong, funny and compassionate, it is a great audio book and as it relates the story, I think it is the best of the three Ya-Ya books.more
I didn't enjoy this book. The writing is good but the characters had no appeal for me; seemed artificial and mostly insipid. Very little was actually going on. Think about this: an entire chapter was given over to two children crawling under the pews at church and pulling another child's hair. I will admit that by the time I reached the end of the book, I was skimming more than I was reading.more
I didn't like this nearly as much as the other two. All the characters seemed to have lost their personalities. They weren't fun, spontaneous, faulty, spunky characters anymore. They were cliche, too perfect and movie-esque. The end of the book felt like a Hallmark commercial.more
While I am a fan of some of Wells' other books, this does not number among them. it felt forced, perhaps an attempt to satisfy the appetites of Ya-Ya fans out of bits and pieces of deleted material that didn't make it into the final editions of the other books.more
Although given the subtitle "a novel," this book is really a collection of short stories about the beloved Ya-Ya sisterhood and their families. We travel (mostly chronologically) from the Ya-Yas first meeting each other as precocious and mischief-making 4-year-olds up until their days as grandmothers. Some stories are told in first person; others in third person, and we hear from the point of view of many different characters (although mostly skewed toward the Walker family). Along the way, we meet a host of characters, including the Ya-Yas' own parents and in some cases, their parent's parents. The stories also cover a wide range of topics and arouse a number of emotions from humor to heartbreak. It is really an eye-opener (or perhaps a vivid reminder) to how just a few words from a parent can mean so much to a child. The final story in the collection is perhaps a bit too long and also saccharine, but otherwise I would not change a thing about this delightful book.more
This book tells the story offour women in Thornton, Louisiana, from the day they met in the 1930s assmall children themselves, till they are old. They call themselves the"Ya-Yas" and have been inseparable for their entire lives. Each of themis unique and special, but together their personalities blend in perfectharmony. It is ultimately a story of female friendship, love andsecurity about the Ya-Yas, their children (The Petites Ya-Yas) andeventually their grandchildren (the Tres Petites). It is a story ofabuse and alcoholism, secrets and mental illness, but throughout it istold with humor and warmth. The books are not your typical trilogy, inthat they don't flow chronologically, each taking up where the last oneleft off. Instead, the basic story is told in the first book andfleshed out in the other two. The setting is the Louisiana bayou, oneof my favorites, filled with Cajun references and parties, bourbon andbranch water, Catholic school, war and just Life with a capital L.more
ya-ya's as kids. loved itmore
readable but more a collection of individual stories rather than one complete story. Not as good as the Divine secrets of the yaya sisterhoodmore
(#5 in the 2007 book challenge)I was a big fan of her other two books that told this same story, they remind me of my mom and it's all very pleasant and nostalgic. I was absolutely fine with the fact that this book is going over a lot of the same information (the same way I like to chat with my mom even though I have already chatted with her before), but was a little disappointed that this one was a bit glurgier than the others.Grade: BRecommended: If you a. enjoyed her other books, and b. don't mind going over the material again.more
This is the follow-up to the bestseller "Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." I know that this series might catch flak for being girly, but the books are decent. They are set mostly in 1950s Louisana, where four mamas cause a ruckus. They curse, drink, run over statues of baby Jesus, and ride elephants, all with southern accents. If you want a book about Thunderbirds, cheatin' husbands, guest spots on cowboy tv shows, families sticking together, bitchy grandmas, jealous smalltowners who can't handle the glamour, and Beatlemania, it's all right. The stories are family-style, so different people narrate each one, which definitely makes some chapters better than others, but it's all probably better than anything I'll ever write, so I'll take it!more
Ya-Yas In Bloom is every bit as funny and irreverant as Rebecca Wells first two books, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Alters Everywhere. I was not the least bit disappointed in this book that continued to fill in the gaps of how the Ya-Yas--Vivi, Necie, Teensy and Caro--first became friends at the age of four. Each chapter in the book was told from different perspectives and stages of life of the Ya-Yas and the petites Ya-Yas, their children. We learn even more details of the relationships they have with their husbands, their love/hate relationship with the Catholic Church, unconventional child rearing habits, racial tensions and tragedies. There were several places in the book that I was laughing out loud at the outrageousness that is so Ya-Ya! If you haven't had a chance to read this last book in the Ya-Yas story be sure to do so soon. It was a joy to read.more
Read all 14 reviews

Reviews

My overall feeling for this book was disappointment. Despite the fact that this was the abridged version to begin with, even this 5-CD set was too long for me. I just wanted it to be done so that I could move on to something else. I'm not sure how to pinpoint why this book failed me so. It may have been the fact that it had been so long since I'd read the other Ya-Ya books & I just couldn't remember enough to relate this one to the previous reads. It may have been the fact that this one was written as a series of vignettes in an almost random order, giving this book a disjointed feel. And because of that, I never felt like the book ended up going anywhere. Or maybe I've simply outgrown the Ya-Ya's and have moved on to prefer other types of literature. Whatever the case, this one just didn't do it for me.more
I "read" this book on audio CD's and loved it. The narrator, Judith Ivey, did a superb job ... normally I cringe to hear Southern accents rendered by actors, but she did just fine. Perhaps it was her presentation, or the fact that the audio edition I had was abridged, but the negative aspects of the book I read about in other reviews were missing in my experience of the book, and it may be the presenter and the pruning made for a better book. The abridged version has a number of stories, but most concern Baylor and the story of the kidnapping and everyone's reaction to it is covered by half the disc time. Verging on sentimental, but coming across more as a blend of tender and strong, funny and compassionate, it is a great audio book and as it relates the story, I think it is the best of the three Ya-Ya books.more
I didn't enjoy this book. The writing is good but the characters had no appeal for me; seemed artificial and mostly insipid. Very little was actually going on. Think about this: an entire chapter was given over to two children crawling under the pews at church and pulling another child's hair. I will admit that by the time I reached the end of the book, I was skimming more than I was reading.more
I didn't like this nearly as much as the other two. All the characters seemed to have lost their personalities. They weren't fun, spontaneous, faulty, spunky characters anymore. They were cliche, too perfect and movie-esque. The end of the book felt like a Hallmark commercial.more
While I am a fan of some of Wells' other books, this does not number among them. it felt forced, perhaps an attempt to satisfy the appetites of Ya-Ya fans out of bits and pieces of deleted material that didn't make it into the final editions of the other books.more
Although given the subtitle "a novel," this book is really a collection of short stories about the beloved Ya-Ya sisterhood and their families. We travel (mostly chronologically) from the Ya-Yas first meeting each other as precocious and mischief-making 4-year-olds up until their days as grandmothers. Some stories are told in first person; others in third person, and we hear from the point of view of many different characters (although mostly skewed toward the Walker family). Along the way, we meet a host of characters, including the Ya-Yas' own parents and in some cases, their parent's parents. The stories also cover a wide range of topics and arouse a number of emotions from humor to heartbreak. It is really an eye-opener (or perhaps a vivid reminder) to how just a few words from a parent can mean so much to a child. The final story in the collection is perhaps a bit too long and also saccharine, but otherwise I would not change a thing about this delightful book.more
This book tells the story offour women in Thornton, Louisiana, from the day they met in the 1930s assmall children themselves, till they are old. They call themselves the"Ya-Yas" and have been inseparable for their entire lives. Each of themis unique and special, but together their personalities blend in perfectharmony. It is ultimately a story of female friendship, love andsecurity about the Ya-Yas, their children (The Petites Ya-Yas) andeventually their grandchildren (the Tres Petites). It is a story ofabuse and alcoholism, secrets and mental illness, but throughout it istold with humor and warmth. The books are not your typical trilogy, inthat they don't flow chronologically, each taking up where the last oneleft off. Instead, the basic story is told in the first book andfleshed out in the other two. The setting is the Louisiana bayou, oneof my favorites, filled with Cajun references and parties, bourbon andbranch water, Catholic school, war and just Life with a capital L.more
ya-ya's as kids. loved itmore
readable but more a collection of individual stories rather than one complete story. Not as good as the Divine secrets of the yaya sisterhoodmore
(#5 in the 2007 book challenge)I was a big fan of her other two books that told this same story, they remind me of my mom and it's all very pleasant and nostalgic. I was absolutely fine with the fact that this book is going over a lot of the same information (the same way I like to chat with my mom even though I have already chatted with her before), but was a little disappointed that this one was a bit glurgier than the others.Grade: BRecommended: If you a. enjoyed her other books, and b. don't mind going over the material again.more
This is the follow-up to the bestseller "Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." I know that this series might catch flak for being girly, but the books are decent. They are set mostly in 1950s Louisana, where four mamas cause a ruckus. They curse, drink, run over statues of baby Jesus, and ride elephants, all with southern accents. If you want a book about Thunderbirds, cheatin' husbands, guest spots on cowboy tv shows, families sticking together, bitchy grandmas, jealous smalltowners who can't handle the glamour, and Beatlemania, it's all right. The stories are family-style, so different people narrate each one, which definitely makes some chapters better than others, but it's all probably better than anything I'll ever write, so I'll take it!more
Ya-Yas In Bloom is every bit as funny and irreverant as Rebecca Wells first two books, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Alters Everywhere. I was not the least bit disappointed in this book that continued to fill in the gaps of how the Ya-Yas--Vivi, Necie, Teensy and Caro--first became friends at the age of four. Each chapter in the book was told from different perspectives and stages of life of the Ya-Yas and the petites Ya-Yas, their children. We learn even more details of the relationships they have with their husbands, their love/hate relationship with the Catholic Church, unconventional child rearing habits, racial tensions and tragedies. There were several places in the book that I was laughing out loud at the outrageousness that is so Ya-Ya! If you haven't had a chance to read this last book in the Ya-Yas story be sure to do so soon. It was a joy to read.more
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