Wells is a Louisiana-born Seattle actress, playwright, and network TV writer; her
loopy saga of a 40-year-old player in Seattle's hot theater scene who must come to
terms with her mama's past in steamy Thornton City, Louisiana, reads like a
lengthy episode of Designing Women written under the influence of mint juleps and
Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!. The Ya-Yas are the wild circle of girls who swirl
around the narrator Siddalee's mama, Vivi, whose vivid voice is "part Scarlett, part
Katharine Hepburn, part Tallulah." The Ya-Yas broke the no-booze rule at the
cotillion, skinny-dipped their way to jail in the town water tower, disrupted the Shirley
Temple look-alike contest, and bonded for life because, as one says, "It's so much
fun being a bad girl!"
Siddalee must repair her busted relationship with Vivi by reading a half-century's
worth of letters and clippings contained in the Ya-Ya Sisterhood's packet of "Divine
Secrets." It's a contrived premise, but the secrets are really fun to learn.