I finished Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells this evening. It was a good read, if not a fantastic one. I felt that the narrative had some holes in it. Threads were taken up, dropped, and not mentioned again. The writer hinted, but not strongly enough, that Connor looked like Jack Whitman. I suppose by extension that means that Sidda will have the life-long love her mother missed? I wasn’t always happy with the poetic way the characters thought. It didn’t seem natural to me. An example: “Okay,” Vivi said, and sank down into the massage table. This table, she told herself, is held up by the floor, which is held up by the building, which is sunk deep into the earth, which is my home” (Chapter 22, p. 242). Maybe I’m too prosaic, but I don’t think like that. Sure, use poetry in description, but in the way characters think? It struck me as false. This seemed to be Wells’ favorite way of ending a chapter, by the way. I didn’t feel fulfilled by the ending, and I can’t put my finger on why.
I loved the Ya-Yas. After reading the book, I wished desperately for friends like that. I don’t have any close friends. I did as a child, but I moved. Moving makes you lose friends, I think. It’s just too hard to keep up, especially when the other party won’t work at it, too. I’ve been on both sides of that fence. My moving around so much cost me a great deal. My life would be so different. But then, who is to say that would mean it would be better?
I can remember having girlfriends. I can remember sleeping in Rebecca’s bed, so high off the floor that I had to climb into it. I can remember looking up into the eyes of James Dean on the wall behind her bed. Then she dropped me right before my wedding, and I had to scramble to find a bridesmaid at the last minute who could wear the dress my grandmother made to fit Rebecca.
Darcy and I were sisters. We stayed at each other’s houses. We shared things. I thought we’d always be best friends. I have not had another friendship like the one I shared with her. We loved each other. I moved, and she wrote me back only a handful of times over the 18 years that has passed since then.
Cheryl and I were friends my senior year in high school. We just decided we’d be best friends, and that was that. We rode around in cars with other friends, like Stephanie and Mary Jo, and we laughed.
Jenni has perhaps been the best correspondent of all of my friends. We have become closer in our absence from each other than we were when we lived in the same neighborhood and went to school together. Jenni is my anchor to my home.
But I don’t have friends like the Ya-Yas. And it makes me sad to realize, truthfully, that I never will. Maybe most people don’t, which is why this book resonates with people so strongly. It was one of the things that people liked about Friends, I think. There is this group of people, and they all love each other and would do anything for each other. They’re like family. But they’re not blood relations. They’re just friends. Reading this book and watching the Friends finale repeat last night (I didn’t catch it last week) made me realize I have friend-shaped holes in my heart. You can live with friend-shaped holes. You can even be happy. But the holes are still there, and you aren’t quite complete.
I will be releasing this book, but I am trying to see if anyone who has it on their BookCrossing Wish List wants my copy before I just cut it loose in the wild.