Rebecca Wells is the author of four novels, including The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and has sold six million copies. Her other titles, Little Altars Everywhere, Ya-Yas in Bloom, and The Crowning Glory of Cala Lily Ponder, are all set in Wells’s native Louisiana. She has been a finalist for the Orange Prize and winner of the American Booksellers Book of the Year Award and the Western States Book Award. She lives in Nashville.
1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
State Capitol, Senate Chamber
Rebecca Wells, the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and Ingredients of Soul Gumbo
2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
State Capitol, Memorial Hall
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
“A big, blowzy romp through the rainbow eccentricities of three generations of crazy bayou debutantes.”
“A very entertaining and, ultimately, deeply moving novel about the complex bonds between mother and daughter.”
“Mary McCarthy, Anne Rivers Siddons, and a host of others have portrayed the power and value of female friendships, but no one has done it with more grace, charm, talent, and power than Rebecca Wells.”
The incomparable #1 New York Times bestseller—a book that reigned at the top of the list for an remarkable sixty-eight weeks—Rebecca Wells’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a classic of Southern women’s fiction to be read and reread over and over again. A poignant, funny, outrageous, and wise novel about a lifetime friendship between four Southern women, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood brilliantly explores the bonds of female friendship, the often-rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love, in a story as fresh and uplifting as when it was first published a decade and a half ago. If you haven’t yet met the Ya-Yas, what are you waiting for?
Little Altars Everywhere
Rebecca Wells’s first novel presents a family of voices, potent in its pain, and dazzlingly brilliant in its stretches and perceptions. A funny poignant introduction to the Walker family of Thornton, Louisiana, and the debut appearance of the Ya-Yas.
Ya-Yas in Bloom
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.
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
In the small river town of La Luna, Louisiana, Calla Lily Ponder bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood—until it is tragically cut short. From her mother, Calla learns compassion and healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair." On the banks of the La Luna River, she discovers a sweet, succulent first love that is as enticing as the music, food, and dancing of her Louisiana home. When heartbreak hits, Calla leaves the familiarity of her hometown and heads downriver to the untamed city of New Orleans, where her destiny further unfolds.
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the story of a pink-collar heroine whose willingness to remain vulnerable in the face of adversity opens our own hearts to the possibility of love growing from sorrow.
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