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"The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily's life set in Wells' expanding fictional Louisiana landscape. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla 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 cut short. Her mother, M'Dear, a woman of rapture and love, teaches Calla compassion, and passes on to her the art of ...
"The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily's life set in Wells' expanding fictional Louisiana landscape. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla 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 cut short. Her mother, M'Dear, a woman of rapture and love, teaches Calla compassion, and passes on to her the art of healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair." At her mother's side, Calla further learns that this same touch of hands on the human body can quiet her own soul. It is also on the banks of the La Luna River that Calla encounters sweet, succulent first love, with a boy named Tuck." "But when Tuck leaves Calla with a broken heart, she transforms hurt into inspiration and heads for the wild and colorful city of New Orleans to study at L'Academie de Beaute de Crescent. In that extravagant big river city, she finds her destiny - and comes to understand fully the power of her "healing hands" to change lives and soothe pain, including her own. When Tuck reappears years later, he presents her with an offer that is colored by the memories of lost love. But who knows how Calla Lily, a "daughter of the Moon Lady," will respond?" A tale of family and friendship, tragedy and triumph, loss and love, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder features the warmth, humor, soul, and wonder that have made Wells one of today's most cherished writers, and gives us an unforgettable new heroine to treasure.
Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) weaves more of the magic that made her a bestseller. At first, Calla Lily Ponder appears to be just like any other young woman growing up in the small town of La Luna, La., where life is simple and Calla Lily is supported by a loving, tightly knit family and a colorful cast of locals. But after a series of hometown heartbreaks, Calla Lily sets out for New Orleans to attend a prestigious beauty academy with dreams of one day opening her own salon. Calla Lily soon learns that while the Big Easy offers a fresh start, adventures and exhilarating new friends, it also presents its own set of tragedies and setbacks. The novel is chock-full of Southern charm and sassy wisdom, and despite its sugary sweetness, it benefits from a hearty dose of Wells's trademark charisma. Calla Lily's story may not be as involved or satisfying as that of the Ya-Yas, but she's sure to be a crowd-pleaser thanks to her humble aspirations, ever hopeful heart and perseverance no matter what fate throws at her. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Posted July 28, 2009
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As expected, Rebecca Wells does not disappoint. The story of Calla Lily Ponder has all the Louisiana flair of Wells' previous tales of the Ya-Yas, with plenty of realism, fantasy, romance, and laughter to go around. The book was a tad slow in the first chapter, but quickly thereafter grabbed me and pulled me in so I didn't want to put it down. I have been waiting for a very good Southern tale to compete with my love of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood trilogy, and this one certainly did, following Calla from childhood through to early adulthood. I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys this type of Fiction.
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I was able to download the audio version of this book, and it was so well read with all the emotions the characters were feeling. I found myselft crying during various parts of the book. I loved the audio version so much that I went ahead and bought the hardcover version as well.
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Posted August 16, 2009
I was very excited to read this book and must say that I was a bit disappointed by the time I finished the last page. As always, Wells provides a luscious Louisiana back drop for her setting and the comradery shared amongst women makes your heart swell with the want for a big 'ol girls' night out. The book, however, is filled with references to the Moon Lady that I found a bit too far out and that didn't really improve the story. I would have been much more interested in the development of a better story line for Calla Lily than useless tales of a mysterious celestial goddess overseeing the character during her day-to-day life. The plot is one that has been used many times girl loves boy, boy leaves girl and finally they reunite but with Wells' gift for the written word one would hope for less predictability. Bottom line- easy read that will pass the time at the beach but not a book you will remember next year.
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Posted June 4, 2000
Rebeecca Wells book set was a bonus in my small collection, I am rereading Little Alters agian to lighten my summmer job, what a joy!
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I absolutely loved this book and was sad to see it end. I flew through it this summer and passed it on to my sister-in-law who also loved it! I will never look at the moon without thinking of the love in this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2013
I have the privilege of reading and doing it quite a lot of it. When a book can move me to spasms of fear (falling into a river were snakes are seen makes me want my Momma), cry with laughter, shake with outrage, all within the space of a few pages, I know that I am reading something exceptional. Rebecca Wells takes the first 28 years of a fictional young lady and causes the reader to live with her in the heat and humidity of Louisiana, through the pain of growing up and rejoicing in every minute of that life. Judith Ivey’s voice abilities bring to life all the characters so richly created by Ms. Wells, hearing this charming story aloud is a like a trip to a long anticipated family reunion.
Calla Lilly Ponder is born in on the banks of the La Luna River, in the town of La Luna, Louisiana, in 1953. She was delivered of M’Dear, her mother, beloved of her father and two older brothers. Her childhood was filled with the wonder found in a town where “everybody knows and cares about everybody.” M’Dear is a gifted hair dresser and Calla has inherited the gifts associated with that profession. Early, Calla Lilly knew her life would be devoted to helping others look better and offering the healing that comes with being touched by compassionate hands. After life gave her sufficient occasions for growth in La Luna, she heads to New Orleans to attain the formal training that began at M’Dear’s knee. While there, she learns the reality of life, in all its wonder, hurt, success, betrayal and joining it can offer. The ending is the weakest moment of this otherwise excellent novel, but it is not so weak as to detract from the delight that precedes it.
There is nothing particular to which one can point that would cause this a story to be one the reader does not want to pause in its reading nor arrive at its end. It most definitely is one that I would “find” time to attend to at every available (or created) moment and I was sad when the last word was spoken. All of the characters are well developed, well rounded and alive. The plot is set in a time when life was slower, but was gaining speed with a rapid pace. Ms. Wells has a gift for reaching the reader in the heart of life and holding them in place as that heart beats a steady, life affirming rhythm. A rhythm that is as familiar as the face in the mirror.
The major theme of the book is the reminder that life lived to its fullest is a life that is lived with openness, acceptance and bravery. It is filled with delightful events that occur with frequency, occasionally there are horrific moments that seem never to end and impact life in ways that will leave scars that will remain as long as we have breath. Its days are filled with nothing notable but the constancy of friends that turn into a living that is a wonderful whole made up of those moments unnoticed. This is the current that carries the book from the page to the heart of the reader – open your heart to life or miss living.
I have yet to read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Ms. Wells’s first novel, and that is an error I hope to soon rectify. If it is anything near the read that this book is, it will be a too long in coming and its visit will be far too short.
Posted March 1, 2013
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Posted September 26, 2010
The characters are wonderful! Love the south!!! Especially New Orleans! Will share with friends and family! I also loved the author's other books!! Must read!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2010
You can remember spending time at the corner grocery store getting a bottle of Coke from the old red and white cooler while sitting under the ceiling fan on a hot and muggy summer day hoping for the afternoon thunderstorm to come and cool you off. Other times, you would spend lazy days with friends and a picnic lunch at the river taking turns on the rope swing and seeing who could do the biggest cannon ball.
One day your mom gets breast cancer, something that you hardly can understand back then but something you think will get better the more times she goes to the doctor and the more treatments she gets. Your mom and you have a close relationship, closer than anyone in the world could possibly understand.
Your mother has been teaching you about healing hands while she makes the customers in her beauty shop, called the "Crowning Glory" feel more beautiful and alive than when they came in. She shows you that you too, have such a gift and you decide that when you grow up that is just what you will do, follow in your momma's footsteps.
In The Crowing Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the YA-YA Sisterhood, we read of Calla Lily Ponder's childhood as described above and how she grows into the woman she is today. The losses and loves that come and go in her life and how the call of her small town of La Luna beckon her back like the moon she talks to when she gets lonely at night.
I had the wonderful privilege of receiving a complimentary copy of this book from TLC Book tours and have to tell you this is one of my most favorite books I have read so far. I felt like I was living the life of Calla Lily and the charm of the town she called home.
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Posted February 21, 2010
Posted February 19, 2010
Rebecca Wells has beautifully written an engaging coming-of-age story that is rich with emotion. Beginning with her 1950's childhood, it follows Calla Lily Ponder's bittersweet journey into adulthood guided by the Moon Lady. While growing up in tiny La Luna, Louisiana, Calla is surrounded by the love of her family, friends and the neighborhood women gathered at her beloved mother's beauty salon. Her dream is to follow in her mother's footsteps.healing women's hearts while fixing their hair. But soon, tragedy strikes and Calla leaves for vibrant New Orleans, where her adventures change her life forever.
Ms. Wells is a gifted storyteller. She has masterfully created an engaging storyline with a wonderful cast of endearing, compelling characters, and a sweet, loving relationship between mother and daughter. She does a magnificent job describing the essence of life in a small southern town. An enchanting spiritual element was beautifully woven throughout. As entertaining as this story was, it did include important lessons about life, friendship and the resilience of the human spirit. I really loved this thoroughly enjoyable book and I highly recommend it!
Posted November 24, 2009
Rolling ride of Calla Lily, planted in Loisiana soil. When Calla Lily's heart is broken at a young age, (something most of us can relate to!), she decides to follow in her mother's footsteps, perfecting her magic by going to L'Academie de Beaute de Crescent to become a beautician. It's a story of family, love lost - found - lost and refound. It's a taste of Cajun. I do have two regrets. I wish there was a cookbook to go with this! And the other regret? It ended! Write on, Rebecca. Write on!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2009
Posted October 21, 2009
Rebecca Wells gets it right. Growing up with loss at a young age, falling in love, finding a career and all with the gloss of the humid, twangy Mississippi Delta upon it. Her characters are endearing and we know people just like them. I highly recommend this lovely book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.