Author: Rebecca Wells
There is no one like Rebecca Wells to pour you into a story and pour you back out. We took the Ya Yas into our hearts and kept them there. Her new novel gives us Calla Lily, and a town full of lovable characters.
In “The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder,” Ms. Wells just – well – joys you into La Luna, Louisiana, population of about 1,700. La Luna sits on the La Luna River, and, as M’Dear (Calla’s mother) tells Calla, La Luna’s blessings come from Mother Moon. Calla Lily is definitely a child of the moon, and M’Dear teaches her that the Moon watches over all, and She is to be called upon for strength and healing.
Both are required in Calla’s young life. An adored child by both Lenore (M’Dea) and Papa Ponder, Call’s childhood fills with her friends Sukey and Renee. And then there is Tuck, a boy she befriends when he comes all alone to La Luna, Louisiana, scared and left at his grandparents house.
M’Dear heals with her hands through her hairdressing salon, the Crowning Glory Beauty Porch, which is in her house. Neighbors gather to gossip and sip lemonade and iced tea in the sultry heat of La Luna. M’Dear and Papa also have a dance studio, the Swing and Sway, where they teach Cajun two-step, the tango, the samba, the waltz. Calla spends her summers swimming in the La Luna River, riding her horse with Tuck, being cared for by M’Dear, Pap, her brothers Sonny Boy and Will, and Nelle, who owns the Snack and Skate. Olivia, who cooks for the Ponders, is her second mother. The small community flourishes and Calla finds joy and happiness, reflected daily in M’Dear’s eyes.
But when Calla is sixteen, and M’Dear is 39, M’dear dies from breast cancer. Devastated, Calla finds Tuck more than a friend, and they fall deeply in love. Calla and Tuck swear at the senior prom to always love and cherish each other, as Tuck leaves for Stanford and Calla goes to New Orleans to attend L’Academie de Beaute de Crescent, the best in the state.
Sukey decides to become a Playboy bunny in New Orleans and Calla rents an adorable apartment. Renee stays in La Luna to get married to Eddie. As in all of Wells novels, these three friends are integral to the story.
When Calla writes Tuck every day, she cannot understand when he does not write back. Ever. She finally realizes that he has left her for good.
But Calla’s life in New Orleans fills the void. She falls in love twice, once with Rick, the owner of L’Academie. But Rick is gay and only loves Steve, his partner. Deciding to be best friends, they become a tight threesome. Then she meets Sweet, who pilots oil workers to their oil rigs. They marry and crest sublimely in their love, until an explosion on one of the rigs kills Sweet.
You have to read on yourself to find out how Calla, Sukey and Renee, along with Rick, Steve, and Nelle, heal each other and how the three girlfriends all end up back in La Luna.
This novel is joyous and sad, melancholy and exuberant, all that you would expect of Rebecca Wells. The characters, while not as complex as the Ya Yas, are still eccentric and funny and sad all at once. The town itself does not contain the mystery needed to hold up the Moon, but certainly resides well under Her luminescence.
A great read and a solid novel, you will enjoy “The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder.”
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
“The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder” can be purchased at Amazon.com for $17.15.
Thank you to Harper Collins for providing both our review copy as well as the copies to giveaway.
Remember you can enter this giveaway DAILY!
- Subscribe to The Review Broads for FREE
- Follow the Review Broads – on the sidebar
- Link to this giveaway on your Facebook page
- Twitter this giveaway (unlimited entries)
- Add our badge to your blog/site
- Blog about this giveaway
- Be sure to leave a comment letting me know if you’ve done any of these (if you already subscribe – please note that in the comments as well).
Please make sure you leave your email address when adding a comment or I will not be able to contact you if you win.
* This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and over and ends on August 22, 2009 11:59 EST.
* The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email.
* The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or an alternate winner will be chosen.
* Please make sure you check your junk mail folder
* Good Luck