Rebecca Wells’ Ya-Yas in Bloom was the perfect audio book. Until it wasn’t. Just into the second CD I realized that this was an abridged version of the book: “select chapters.”
But like a gift from the book angels, I happened upon a hard copy version at my hometown library’s book sale, and so was able to fill in the missing chapters. But let me tell you, the voice in my head was not nearly as entertaining as the voice of Judith Ivey, who was able to beautifully re-create the French-Cajun accent of Teensy and her mother, while also capturing other various voices from the childish Shep to an adult Baylor.
If you’re not familiar with the Ya-Yas, they are four Louisianan women – friends since the 1930’s when they were four, as we learn in this collection. They’ve been more than best friends, they’ve created their own culture complete with names, language and events. Their sisterhood is as sacred to them as any religion; as thick as any blood.
Ya-Yas in Bloom is the third collection of tales first introduced in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. If Little Alters Everywhere was a bit of a disappointment, Ya-Yas in Bloom brings back the humor, friendship and sass in full-force. While this collection of stories begins with how Teensy, with a pecan stuck up her nose, meets Vivi and then the two meet Caro and Necie (the original Ya-Yas), In Bloom takes us to the generations after, the petite Ya-Yas and the tres’ petite Ya-Yas.
From a precocious appearance on the Buckaroo TV show, a once-in-a-lifetime Beatles concert, running over the baby Jesus statue at the Catholic church, to even a tres’ petite Ya-Ya kidnapping, the institutions of love, loyalty and laughter pass from one generation to the next as easily as vowels on a Southern tongue.
And, because of the number chapters narrated by male voices, Ya-Yas in Bloom (perhaps unlike its predecessors) lends itself to readers of both sexes. This is literary humor at its finest.
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