Aug 15, 2009

TSS: What the Ya-Yas used to read

Do you remember The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? A movie with Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, Maggie Smith and my favorite, Ashley Judd. This wonderful movie from 2002, which is based on a novel by Rebecca Wells, is one of my all-time favorites. I saw it for the first time in 2003, when I was at third grade of high school. During a long and boring Philosophy class, I scrambled random names of my friends on a piece of paper. Above the list I drew a flower. After that, I added flower names such as Violet, Lilly, Narcissi, Rosemary. Ta-Da! Our little group of six best friends instantly became the Flower Club.

The Flower Club consisted of a group of us six thick-as-thieves BFFs. We all sat in the same row in the classroom; we had all our classes together and were inseparable outside the school as well. There was a flowery notebook circling around where we used to write down our little secrets, hopes, dreams, wishes, and pasted pictures of our great time together.
By the end of high school, it grew to the size of nine members. As it goes in life, we moved to different towns to study and in the past four years, we never managed to gather all at the same time.

The little notebook was lost for a long time. We couldn’t remember who had it last, and for years I thought it was gone with the wind.
Today, four of us were at a fiesta at one of our friend’s house. With a mysterious smile, she squinted at us and said:
“Guess what my mom found the other day.”

Already too long story short, we laughed, we cried, we recalled our high school days, but we also remembered what we used to read these days. Though it was unwritten law, and no one ever set any rules on reading and discussing books, it was my first book club.
So what did the Ya-Ya Flowers read?

The #1 on the list was the unrivaled The Lord of the Rings. Our passion for the books that almost all of us had read long before was revived with the movies. We were reading Tolkien with new eyes, now with the beautiful images from the movie (no, I don’t mean Orlando Bloom!).

#2 was-you guess-Harry Potter. Back then we had only the first three books, holding our breaths until the release of the next one.

#3 R. L .Stine’s The Fear Street series. They were YA, cheap, short, intriguing and a perfect birthday present. You read it first, and then pass on. Along with a box of chocolates and a funny candle.

#4 the Myst series: The Book of Atrus, The Book of Ti’ana and The Book of D’ni by Miller, Miller and Wingrove. I didn’t read them, but all the other Ya-Yas swore it was amazing.

#5 What would this list be without vampires? Anne Rice was a must-read. The Interview with a Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned.

#6 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. We loved Anna, and those who weren’t intimidated by the sheer size of the book, found themselves lucky to have read it.

#7 Several books that were school reading requirements, but we enjoyed a lot, such as Madame Bovary (G. Flaubert), Therese Raquin (E. Zola), and several Croatian novels.

I love remembering these days. First now I see how strong this connection to books and our love for the written word was. Books were always there. And they will always be. Just like friends.

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