Author(s): Rebecca WellsDownload
“Rebecca Wells has done it again….A new book full of Southern charm and unique characters…impossible to put down.”—Houston Chronicle“Wells weaves that magic spell again.”—New Orleans Times-PicayuneFor Ya-Ya fans everywhere, New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Wells returns with The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder. The creator of the literary sensations Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Little Altars Everywhere, and Ya-Yas in Bloom delivers an unforgettable new stand-alone novel about the pull of first love, the power of home, and everyday magic. No matter if you already adore the Ya-Yas or haven’t yet entered the miraculous world of Rebecca Wells, you are going to love—and never forget—Calla Lily Ponder.
Some Reviews: 1452 in Goodreads.com
Wow, is about the only way to describe this book. I always forget how much I love reading Rebecca Wells until I pick up the book and subsequently cannot put it down. As with most of Wells’ books this one is set in the heart of Louisiana and tells the story of Calla Lily Ponder and her life growing up in La Luna. The town is named for the river that runs through it and on to the Mississippi. The story follows Calla from birth on and while that may sound uninteresting you couldn’t be more wrong.
It is kind of hard to describe but the story is full of love and emotion that for a lot of people is difficult to convey. Calla and her friends and family have a connection that some people go their whole lives without ever having. Everyone is always there for each other and often enough at odds as well.
The story sets itself around the Ponder’s house where M’Dear, Calla’s mother, owns and operates The Crown and Glory Beauty Porch. People from all around come to get their hair done by my dear who some believe can heal with the touch of her hand. This gift had been passed on to Calla who uses this gift to study in New Orleans upon her graduation from high school. She spends ten years there and after tragedy strikes she moves back home to La Luna to do what she has always dreamed of. Opening The Crown and Glory and expand of the traditions her parents began.
Along with many precious moments between Calla and friends there are also many devestating points to this book. I was literally bawling at certain times while reading. The book is full of contrasts and the ups and downs of normal everyday life. It makes me feel good when an author writes the character as simple and down home and that she overcomes everything thrown at her.
I can’t wait to see what else Ms. Wells writes. I’m kind of hoping for an extension of this book but I suppose I will just have to wait and see.
I LOVE Rebecca Wells. I wasn’t even aware that she had a new book out until I stumbled upon it at B&N. I didn’t even bother to read the jacket to see what the book was about. LOVE R.W.
With that said, however, I had hoped to love this book a little bit more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, it was certainly on par with Divine Secrets, but the reason I didn’t give it a 5-star rating was because it dragged as soon as it got to part II. Part I was ah-mah-zing, though. I NEVER cry at books, and it takes a lot for me to cry at movies, but I bawled like a baby when M’Dear died. I know a lot of people won’t like Wells’ narrative about the Moon Lady, and will take issue with the religious undertones in it, but having studied Wells’ works long enough, I’ve come to just deal with it.
I really disliked part II. I found the whole Calla-falling-in-love-with-Ricky thing highly unbelievable and actually groaned out loud when she sought help from a voodoo lady. Ridiculous. I also never really connected with or believed in her love with Sweet. I was actually kind of happy when he died, because I knew it would lead her back to Tuck.
This review is now really long, and all over the place. I apologize. But the book was, overall, good. Read it.
When I started reading this book I was a little leery when the first chapter came from the perspective of the moon. I really didn’t want to read something “weird.” However, once the story got going, I got drawn in pretty quickly. I loved that the book was told from the main character, Calla Lily’s, perspective. I loved all the emotions that the book brought out in me, and found myself crying in a couple places.
There was a lot of talk about the “Moon Lady” which I thought was strange and probably could have done without; however, towards the end of the book I realized that everyone needs something to guide and comfort them. The “Moon Lady” was Calla Lily’s. It was what she needed to stay connected to her mother and to help her through some pretty tough times.
I loved the people in Calla’s life. What great friends and family she had. I also liked both of her “loves” in this story. In most stories you find yourself siding with one love or the other, but in this one, I really liked both of them.
Anyways, this book would overall have a PG/PG13ish rating with a couple R moments. I loved this book and want to read more from this author.
Quoting the first paragraph from ‘The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder’:
“I know the moon and the moon knows me. I am the moon and the moon is me. I am life itself. I am not who they think I am, that old white man with the long white hair whose judging eyes try to force fear into their very pores. I am the moon mother, and I hold my children on my lap, night and day, in the heat and in the shade. When they wake and when they sleep, I whisper to them: Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. The ones who feel my lunar light pause before they walk out into the day. They take a deep breath, greet the morning with love, and invite grace to enter them at every moment. All have pain, but not all suffer. The body might ache, loss might occur. But for those who embrace my light, there is dancing.”
This book has bits of poetry in it! I loved it and cried through a lot of it. It took me two days to read it, even though I read only on my way to bed. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read about how a woman manages to make herself grow up.
Calla Lily Ponder grows up in Louisiana and dreams of becoming a hair stylist that will not only fix hair but will bring a little happiness and healing to her clients. The book follows us from her childhood in the 1960/70’s to womanhood, through her happiness and through much pain.
I absolutely loved the first half of this book — Calla’s childhood and teen years were riveting with events and descriptions that will stick with me. Like the nail-biting scene of the boys jumping into the into the adults only, snake-infested area of the river and the magical turned horrifying story of an African American boy’s first time at the roller skating rink. Unfortunately, Calla Lily’s adult story was kind of dull–the characters were fine and there were ups and downs but for some reason the story just dragged, and I really had trouble buying the big dramatic reveal at the end. So 5 stars for the first half and 3 stars for the second, which averages this book out to 4 stars.
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