Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book.
Bonnie Wiley is a Communications Instructor at ASUB Searcy.
I read novels. Unashamedly, unabashedly, I immerse myself in their worlds and by doing so experience places and eras and personalities I would never have known otherwise. That being said, it is a given that my answer to the question “What is your favorite book?” changes often. Some days, it might be a Pat Conroy or Fannie Flagg, a Wally Lamb or Harper Lee. Even Thomas Hardy and Emily Bronte and Josef Conrad have had their turns. But today? Today my answer is Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
The story is set in central Louisiana not far from my south Arkansas roots, geographically or culturally, and focuses on a group of girlfriends who literally formed their own tribe and on their families. I know these people; I know these places, and yet there are still insights to be gained and lessons to be learned and relearned as the main character Siddalee comes to grips with her past and present and faces her future stronger than she ever thought she could be.
This is not an easy story. The violence and deeply emotional experiences of the characters keep it from being so. It is, however, an easy read, a series of vignettes woven with the threads of memory and loss through a treasured, life-encompassing scrapbook shared from mother to daughter.
It is not a book for everyone. But those of us whose mothers were beautiful, who ruled their universe with a passion, whose friendship was far deeper than the creek waters where they spent their summer days, understand this book is for us.