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Little Altars Everywhere Paperback – May 22, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
She performs from her work internationally and her books have been translated into twenty-three languages. A native of Louisiana, she now makes her home in Nashville, with her spaniel Mercy.
Her website is: www.rebeccawellsbooks.com
Top Customer Reviews
Starting as a simple short story ("Looking for My Mules," with Shep, Viviane and an old man lost on their farm), Rebecca Wells' tales of growing up in Louisiana in a less than perfect home grew first into Little Altars Everywhere, then into the Divine Secrets book and movie. Each chapter contains a well crafted short story, told from the viewpoint of different characters. Each chapter offers a title with the name of the narrator and year they are talking in. In some cases, the titles are enough to draw you in (Catfish Dreams; E-Z Boy War; The Princess of Gimmee.)
From the 60's to the 90's, each story offers a simple, but meaningful slice of the entire Walker family's story. Some are told in the present, some are memories of what happened long ago. The chapters weave together to give you a wider view of what was going on from different perspectives.
As you read, you'll find yourself piecing together the story of Sidalee, her siblings, her mother Vivi and father Shep, as well as Willetta and Chaney, the black couple who were hired help, and who have an outside view of the family.
Don't stop reading with this book, or you'll miss a view of the whole person -- doting mother, child abuser, unloved child, shattered schoolgirl, broken hearted, passionate lover, distant wife and mother as well as a view of Shep as a fallible human being and how he contributed to Vivi's 'condition' and the affect it had on their children.
A treasure of a book, you may find it more unsettling than the movie or the second book. Excellent writing, it will leave you wanting to know more (unless you've already read the second book!)
This is a disturbing tale of a prominent family in small-town Louisiana and the hidden rot at its core. Viviane Abbott Walker is a self-centered, immature woman who would have done better to collect dolls than have living, breathing children to annihilate. The best answer the narcissistic Vivi can come up with to the everyday problems of life is to drown them in alcohol. Under its influence, she systematically physically abuses and emotionally batters her children, indelibly damaging them for life. Her weak husband's solution to the domestic battlefield is to flee to his hunting camp for days on end and drink himself into oblivion. This bittersweet novel was excruciatingly painful to read, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
There were divinely funny moments interspersed with heartbreaking passages that make one so angry you forget that this is fiction. I suspect that many of us can identify with key issues of this profoundly touching novel. I know I did. This is one of those rare jewels whose lessons to live by can change your life.
Well, let me tell you, "Little Altars Everywhere" is outstanding. Author Rebecca Wells gives gripping and believable voices to each of the six members of the dysfunctional Walker clan and to their black employees (read "slaves"), Chaney and Willetta Lloyd. Each of the 17 chapters is told first hand by one of these eight characters. The first half of the interconnected vignettes are set in the 1960s; the rest in the early 1990s.
As an actor/playwright, Wells is well versed at stepping inside her characters and in getting each person's dialect and emotions just right, even across the book's 30 year span. Southern speech is mimicked perfectly without being overbearing or hard to understand, and the emotional descriptions and scenes are touching and effective without being maudlin. Just when I think Wells is about to go too far with one of her characters or scenes, she stops with exquisite timing. It's almost as if Rebecca Wells has multiple personalities herself.
Wells writes about what she knows and describes her native Louisiana in convincing style. We're oppressed by the heat of the low country; we hear mosquitoes buzzing, radios blaring and air conditioners whirring; we see big old cars and pickup trucks speeding along dusty roads. We smell the good earth and the crops.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was very enjoyable and fast paced. Happy with the purchase. Great sellerPublished 4 months ago by Sacrid
Wonderful book. Very touching. Recommend really all three of the Ya Ya series.Published 9 months ago by Carol Creed
This is a very sad account of children growing up in an alcoholic home. But with the pain of life as children, they rallied and supported each other and escaped the horrors of... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Serious Serenity
This book is good if you like the ya yas you will like this book. It tells more or the family life of vivie and her family. It is both sad and funny also.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
A great novel but I felt a little down after seeing certain parts of the book I wasn't expecting. I won't give any spoilers but it's not as light hearted as the other books in the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Binky Bear