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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells~★★

Author: Rebecca Wells
Title: The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
Release Date: July 7th, 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Southern Fiction

Book Jacket: "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 Cally 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. "

Taryn's Review: I first read The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Wells as a young girl and I loved the magic that Wells was able to produce in her words. You could smell the humidity in the air and feel the hot glare from Vivi, the main character, as her fiery temper went off. Sadly, Calla Lily doesn't carry that same magic.

I think Wells' first mistake was in this book she used the first-person point-of-view and had Calla Lily telling the story. I don't think this is Wells' strong suit. Secondly, I could not stand the narration from the Moon Lady. Why is Calla Lily so special that a God-motherly figure kept an especially close eye on her? And the Moon Lady was over-dramatic in her little speeches.

I liked the beginning of the story until Tuck went away to college; the story then became increasingly predictable. Along the way I was re-entranced by the story, but then I would catch wind of what was about to happen and I'd fall back out of interest with the book's story.

The ending was truly so sickly sweet and so utterly predictable that I couldn't hardly stand it. It was similar to  The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. 

I liked the story at times, but Wells simply didn't write a great book compared to her previous works. Also, devout readers of Wells will spot the parallels of some of her Ya-Ya characters in Calla Lily. I know Wells's suffers from Lyme Disease and I don't know if it has an impact on her writing. I admire the story Wells tried to create, but sadly, it was by no means up to the caliber of writing that Divine Secrets was when it captivated the hearts and minds of so many.

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