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The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: A Novel Paperback – April 13, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Calla Lily is a sweetie. . . . This is a novel full of miracles, with characters more colorful than a Crayola 64-crayon box. It’s just the right dose of Southern charm.” (Seattle Times)
“Many readers will recognize that all the characters . . . are creations of a literary goddess in her own right. . . . Down-to-earth and comforting . . . [A] good-hearted, wishful-thinking book.” (Washington Post)
“Wells writes genuinely about her native Louisiana. . . . It’s hard not to fall in love with the people in this magical place, where love is as plentiful as the dancing, gumbo and ice-cold Cokes. . . . A perfect beach read about mothers and friends and sisters.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“Charming and luminous . . . A perfect summer indulgence that’ll have you peeking out your window on a muggy night in search of the Moon Lady, who’ll wrap her nurturing arms around you from afar.” (Austin American-Statesman)
“Wells brings back the lush beauty of her birthplace. . . . Wide-eyed, big-hearted Calla has more faith than all the ya-yas put together. . . . As ever, the author’s strength lies in her ability to articulate the profound relationship between women.” (Miami Herald)
“Rebecca Wells spins a sweet Southern yarn about an aspiring beautician who overcomes tragedy to find love.” (Parade)
“Fans of Rebecca Wells’ tales of the ‘Ya-Ya Sisterhood’ will find themselves just as enchanted with this story full of Southern charm and lessons in life. . . . With wisdom and insight, Wells guides Calla on her path of self-discovery.” (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
“[A] heaping helping of sugar . . . [for] when you’re feeling nostalgic for a sugarcoated past.” (USA Today)
“Calla Lily Ponder is every bit as affable as her name suggests. . . . Expect high demand from loyal Ya-Yas fans, who have eagerly awaited a new work from Wells.” (Booklist)
“Told in Wells’ signature style . . . Rich in anecdote and atmosphere . . . This is easily a three-hanky read. . . . the lessons of hope and promises of healing will be a balm to many.” (Bellingham Herald)
“Fiction junkies packing for vacation can without hesitation place The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder into the juicy reading pile. There’s period drama, there’s romance, and there’s a lot of fabulous hair all wrapped in a vibrantly Southern package.” (North Kitsap Herald)
“Another exuberant tale of Louisiana women . . . who can resist those moonlit nights, those swimming holes, that delicious cochon de lait, the dreamy little Louisiana towns, the women who are larger than life? Wells weaves that magic spell again.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
“All readers will embrace the themes of second chances.” (Library Journal)
“Rebecca Wells has done it again. . . . A new book full of Southern charm and unique characters . . . impossible to put down. . . . Wells delivers characters that are distinct and realistic.” (Houston Chronicle)
“Wells’s larger-than-life characters are custom made for summer reading.” (The Independent Weekly)
“The latest novel by Rebecca Wells, the belle of Southern fiction. . . . is a satisfying coming-of-age tale in a place where the moon glows and the lemonade flows.” (Columbus Dispatch)
“Wells knows how to paint a picture of small-town life and the wide world beyond that pulls at the heartstrings. Ya-Ya fans are likely to go gaga over The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder.” (Deseret News)
“Pure Southern comfort, and [Wells] continues the tradition.” (New York Daily News)
“Rebecca Wells is a master of . . . women’s fiction. . . . The novel teaches us that even the worst decisions can be rescued and that approaching the world with love will heal any brokenness in our hearts.” (Winnipeg Free Press)
“Wells delights in small-town life. . . . She makes the enchantment of daily life seem as plain as daylight.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“[Wells’] descriptions are so lush and lyrical it feels like you could step through the pages into the hot, humid landscape so shaped by the Mississippi River.” (Denver Post)
More About the Author
She performs from her work internationally and her books have been translated into twenty-three languages. A native of Louisiana, she now makes her home in Nashville, with her spaniel Mercy.
Her website is: www.rebeccawellsbooks.com
Top Customer Reviews
This novel is like a first written manuscript with no editing. It's a surface told story--there's no depth to the characters, plot, storyline, etc. Major incidents are thrown into the storyline, allowing the reader to believe that, for example, racism is a huge part of the story; however, that's never discussed again. The story is told, not shown, and the reader has a difficult time getting through the book. If I hadn't purchased this book based on Wells' previous novel, I wouldn't finish reading it.
The main character suffers through three traumatic events, but somehow everything keeps coming up roses. We don't know why, because all the characters in the book are completely one-dimensional stock figures. Several characters are introduced for absolutely no reason. Cally Lily didn't really need two brothers -- they did nothing for the book. Moreover, we even learn the name of the oldest brother's wife, but she never appears again.
The editing was slapdash. First Calla Lily is saving up to live in New Orleans for three months for beauty school, yet within a few chapters beauty school suddenly lasts for a year. She puts her drunken best friend to bed to sleep it off and on the next page she wraps her in a quilt to sleep on the floor. The description and explanation of the Catholic marriage ceremony was both anachronistic and incorrect at the same time.
It was truly a terribly written book. I only finished it so that I could write this review!
All I know is that this is a beautiful story about a woman who overcomes all sorts of obstacles while various forces keep her apart from the true love of her life. At the same time, there is heart, humor, acceptance, and secondary joy that could nearly have become primary if not for the soap operatic twists and turns involved here.
Slap me with a stupid stick, but I loved Sweet even when I was angry with Tuck for something that was obviously not his fault, already knowing he'd show up again. I loved these beautiful, rich, gracious characters, and Calla Lily had the grace of a saint to deal with all she went through. This book is an enviably written treasure as I am a struggling (and I mean STRUGGLING!) writer, and some people would rather have romantically nostalgic fluff than some kanker sore inducing vomit produced by a genuinely horrible author like Danielle Steele. Now you naysayers must admit this is several notches above that! M'Dear taught Calla Lily to use an inherent gift, and her father taught her that fathers can be great friends. How many of us can say that much? More than that, this book gives silly, idealistic me the idea that true love never dies under any circumstances. This book is a treasure, and it's too bad so few of us recognize it. That's alright. It's one worth holding dear.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book! I am an avid reader and am always thrilled when I enjoy a book so much. I am going to get her other books and enjoy them too.Published 2 months ago by Jody t. Hagler
absolutely delightful book! Will touch you deeply with it's poignant portrayal of love among this eclectic group of family and friends.Published 3 months ago by kate sherrill
I was sooo disappointed after reading the first 2 of her books and then this one comes along, if I didn't know better then I would think they books were not written by the same... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Faye
Well written, a fun enjoyable read, that at times brought on the tears. I disagree with the reviewers that said it was terrible. I thought it was very good.Published 5 months ago by DobermanMomma
If you liked the Ya-Yas, you will love this book. A beautiful coming of age story set in the South. I was sad when it ended. :)Published 7 months ago by Brandy Pecor
I loved this book! It was cathartic, spiritual, healing and a beautifully written book! I laughed and I cried. I was recommended this both to help me grieve the loss of my father. Read morePublished 8 months ago by kimber
This was a nice story, from beginning to end. Sure, there were troubled times and heartbreaks among the joys of love and lives being lived but under it all was a current of love... Read morePublished 11 months ago by SheVandal