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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Review: The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Fiction
Trade paperback 391 pages
Book Source: TLC Book Tours
My Rating: 97/100

In the small river town of La Luna, Louisiana, Calla Lily Ponder bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood – until it is tragically cut short. From her mother, Calla learns compassion and healing through the humble womanly art of “fixing hair.” On the banks of the La Luna River, she discovers a sweet, succulent first love that is as enticing as the music, food, and dancing of her Louisiana home. When heartbreak hits, Calla leaves the familiarity of her hometown and heads downriver to the untamed city of New Orleans, where her destiny further unfolds.

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the story of a pink-collar heroine whose willingness to remain vulnerable in the face of adversity opens our hearts to the possibility of love growing from sorrow.

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Calla Lily Ponder who grew up in the small town of La Luna nestled along the Mississippi River in Louisiana. We meet her family and friends, but most importantly her mother, whom she calls M' Dear. Call Lily has a wonderful loving relationship with her mom. They are best friends as well as mother and daughter. Everything Calla Lila is and grows up to become, is due to her mother and their special relationship. It is because of M'Dear that Calla Lily chooses to become a beautician, and grows up to be one of the finest young ladies I have read about in quite a long time.

Calla Lily is a sweetheart! She is kind to everyone she meets, and strives to see the best in people, She tries not to be mean or judgmental towards others. Calla Lily has also inherited what M'Dear calls healing hands. This is the ability to make her salon clients feel whole again. To ease their cares and worries with the touch of her hands and sometimes the kindest of words. Calla is truly what I cal good people.

During the course of the story, Calla Lily experiences some of the toughest heartaches of her life. But she manages to pull through with the help of friends and family, and of course, the Moon Lady. Who is the Moon Lady? Well, you can read about her in the beginning of the book and then here and there throughout the story. Basically, according to M'Dear, the Moon Lady is the benevolent force who watches over Calla Lily and the residents of La Luna. I interpreted her to be like Mother Earth, except she is the Moon.

I loved this story. Wells' writing placed me firmly in the story with her descriptions of small town Southern life in Mississippi, and again when Calla moves to New Orleans. The accented dialogue, the food, the weather, everything made me feel as though I was in Louisiana. I did have one complaint, at first. Sometimes it seemed as though Calla never grew up. She was almost childish in her thinking at times. However, I realized that is exactly what I liked about her. Calla never becomes jaded or angry like adults can be. Her positive attitude and way of living are simple and uncomplicated. With so many sad and mean people in the world, it was nice to escape from that for a while. So my complaint, is really not a complaint after all!

So, if you are looking for an enjoyable read, that transports you down South in the company of good people, then this books is for you. After reading this one, I will definitely check out Wells' other books as well.
My Rating: 97/100

If you are interested in hearing an interview with Rebecca Wells, stop by blogtalkradio to listen in.  This was recorded last night, May 5th.

And to read Rebecca's thoughts on her love of book clubs stop by here.

2010 Challenges Met: 100+

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for asking me to join this tour. 


 I am an Amazon Associate.


Blodeuedd said...

Nice review.
I do not what it is, but there is just soemthing about this book, something

Nise' said...

Love stories about mothers and daughters. Will keep my eye out for this one.

trish said...

Wow! 97 out of 100?! Since I review books with the same rating structure, I especially appreciate the rating you gave it! So glad you loved the book; thanks for being on this tour!

Staci said...

I'm digging Southern fiction right now so this one is on my list for sure. Excellent review!

bermudaonion said...

Calla Lily sounds like an amazing character and having the book set in the South makes it sound even better to me!

Teddyree said...

Jen I hadn't even heard of this one til I read your review and I know I can't wait to readd it! You know how much I enjoyed Saving CeeCee and this one sounds just as delightful. Thanks for the lovely review :-)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great Southern pick.

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