Little Altars Everywhere, a review

Day 16: Review a book, place or product.

I am falling so behind on these.

Since I never go anywhere interesting and I don't have any extra cash to try anything cool, you're getting a book review. Why? Because books are free to use (if you use your library card correctly) and invaluable to have.

^^I feel like LeVar Burton would be super proud of me for writing that last sentence.

And if you don't know who LeVar Burton is, the education system failed you.

This week I finished Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells, and I think you should read it to. (P.S. That's how I started almost every book report I ever wrote in first grade.) Set in both the 1960s and the 1990s, Little Altars Everywhere follows the narrative of Siddalee Walker and her siblings as they grow up in a cripplingly dysfunctional family and the eventual repercussions of having such a tumultuous childhood.

Little Altars Everywhere is actually the prequel to The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a book that my high school girlfriends and I cherished. In fact, we referred to ourselves as the Ya-Yas and each one of us assumed the identity of one of the four characters. I was given the title of Vivi and I was stoked because Ashley Judd played her in the movie adaptation and she's like, really pretty, but after reading Little Altars Everywhere and finding out how abusive she was to her children, I was like, "No thanks."

But that's neither here nor there.

The book is wonderful. As you know, I'm a huge fan of anything set in the 60s, especially if it takes place in the deep South (The Walker family was from Louisiana). Little Altars Everywhere is set against the backdrop of Louisiana during a time where issues of race, class and gender were at the forefront of American society, and Wells did a tremendous job of developing three dimensional characters with a heat-breaking, yet fascinating story to tell.

Some parts of the book are hard to read, especially where molestation is concerned, but Wells crafted a beautifully honest look about what life is like for abused children growing up in an emotionally unstable environment. Not only do we get a glimpse into what goes on behind closed doors of volatile families, readers can see its impact on future relationships and how deeply it effects children in their adulthood.

For as dark as the underlying theme in Little Altars Everywhere is, the novel still manages to come across as endearing and oftentimes, downright funny. The charm of the South is apparent in almost every chapter and for all their shortcomings, you can't help but love the rowdy Ya-Yas.

If you have aspirations of reading The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, I highly recommend you do the opposite of what I did and read Little Altars Everywhere first. The prequel will definitely provide much needed background information on Siddalee (and explain why she's so dang whiny as an adult).

Next on my reading list: My Lobotomy by Howard Dully.


  1. Hi�� do you know any good kids books? Be selective, I warn u I've read loads!


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