Though I’m stretching out reading Out of Oz because I love it so much, I’m trying to decide what to read next. Not so easy a task.

Ya-Yas in Bloom is very tempting. Except for the little fact that I’m afraid to even open it. If you’ve read and loved The Divne Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, then read and freaked out over Little Altars Everywhere, you know exactly what I mean.  If you are a Ya-Yas virgin, be forewarned…Rebecca Wells is an almost too skilled author.

The entire Ya-Yas thing was on thin ice with me anyway. I barely made it through the movie, though it had the role in Caro that made me a huge Maggie Smith fan long before Downton’s Dowager Countess cut an irresistibly ascerbic swath across the known universe and made high brow television fodder for the masses. But I hadn’t read the book, and was lost down the Ya-Ya rabbit hole. What the–!? Crazy, unfathomable movie with things I liked about it anyway.

So of course I read the novel and fell head over heels down the rabbit hole with it. I mean I adored the thing. I thought Rebecca Wells was the second coming of all things right with novel writing.

Then I read Little Altars. No! No, no, no!

How did I get so devastated over fictional characters? How could I care that much? I assume it’s due to the author’s talent. I cannot even begin to assume I understand why she’d make the fateful choice that’s made everyone I’ve run into who read Ya-Yas, then Little Altars the way I did freak out, hate a single turn Altars took so much that it all but ruined the whole beloved Ya-Ya experience, and be very afraid to even look consideringly at another potential literary landmine with her name on it.

But there it is. The elephant between the pages that everyone shied away from. You see, she took a wonderful character (thankfully,not Caro) she’d carefully made us love, and turned her into a monster.

Why? I have no clue. Dramatic impact, I can only hope. She got that in spades. Making it unforgettable? That too, though not in a good way. Testing readership loyalty? I hope not intentionally.

The thing is…I want to read more Ya-Yaness so much that I’m going back in, figurative flack jacket cinched tight against whatever new word grenade lies in wait. Trouble is, even if the horror of Little Altars is totally absent, its ghost will still haunt. Will it ruin? No way to know but open the covers and…well, once more into the breach comes to mind.

It kind of bugs me that I still admire Rebecca Wells’ writing so much, but that’s how gifted she is. So back in I’ll go; moth to proverbial flame. Singed or enraptured? Who knows? All I really expect is to be divinely Ya-Ya-ed. Hopefully, that will be enough.

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