The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily's life set in Wells's 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'AcadÉmie de BeautÉ 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?
I've read Rebecca Wells before (I love the Ya-Ya's) so I was expecting to be blown away with this book. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Having said that, it wasn't a horrible read, it just wasn't a spectacular one.
I enjoyed the setting and the premises of the story: Calla Lily growing up and following her dream. Truth be told I enjoyed the story of her childhood better than the adult Calla Lily. I wanted more on Calla and her relationship with her mother. I wanted more on her feelings about M'Dear's death. In my opinion the transition from childhood to adulthood didn't go as smoothly as it could have. And then the ending felt rushed and anti-climatic. That's it? Where's the rest of the story?
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells (3/5) Fiction; Published: Harper (7/2009); 2009 100 + Reading Challenge (104);