I’ve been a fan of Rebecca Wells since reading Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and her other books as well so I was excited to read The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder. The title alone was enough to grab my interest.
The book follows the life of Calla Lily Ponder who grows up in La Luna, Louisiana all the way through adulthood when she moves to New Orleans and then to close again at the end living in La Luna. I felt like her story had come full circle with her return to her home place. I had a hard time getting into this story. For me the beginning did drag but somewhere along the line I was pulled fully into Calla Lily’s life and from that point on I really enjoyed the story.
Calla Lily grows up in a loving family with mom, pop and two brothers but much too young in her life she loses her mother. Calla Lily finishes school and her dream is to become a beautician like her mother. Calla Lily, like her mother before her, seems to have a gift with her hands. Not only can she make people’s hair look wonderful but she seems to be able to pass on healing thoughts and calmness to people while doing their hair.
So Calla Lily’s desire to follow in her mother’s footsteps leads her to her first heartbreak when her first love Tuck leaves to go to college elsewhere and leaves Calla Lily behind. Worse yet he doesn’t answer any of her letters and she’s left thinking that he doesn’t love her anymore despite the promises they made to each other. This prompts her move to New Orleans where Calla Lily really comes of age.
She goes to beauty school there and meets Ricky who turns out to be a good friend to her in her life. She works with him in his shop and eventually meets his cousin Sweet who she falls in love with and marries. Yet it seems that Calla Lily isn’t meant to be happy because she loses Sweet as well when he is killed. She feels the only alternative left to her in order to rebuild her life is to return home to La Luna.
This is exactly what she does. She returns home and rebuilds the salon her mother had years ago but bigger and much better than before. At the same time Tuck comes home as well and it seems the two have never lost the love they once had and they set about rekindling the romance.
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is much more than I can say here as you also get to meet Calla Lily’s friends in the novel as well as some of the people living in La Luna. I loved the descriptions of the food, people and the area of La Luna as well as the same types of descriptions of New Orleans. I found Calla Lily an easy character to like. She seemed a very vulnerable girl throughout – very caring and sweet. There were parts I laughed at and a few parts where I shed a few tears. While I didn’t think this book is as good as her others I still think it was well worth reading for me and I’ll be waiting to see what she’ll write next.
I read The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. You can check out other tour stops here and be sure to stop by Rebecca Well’s website. You can purchase your own copy of The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells here in the US and here in Canada.
- Book Club Girl interviewed Rebecca Wells on May 5/10. You can check out that interview here.
- Rebecca recently posted a new video which you can view here.
- Rebecca also had a guest post on her love of book clubs on Reading Group Choices which you can see here.