Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder - Rebecca Wells

I am a huge fan of Wells' three books about the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, so I was quite happy when I stumbled across her latest on the library hot picks shelf. This time around Wells is still in the South (Louisiana), but with a whole new set of characters. Calla Lily Ponder is the only daughter of a loving father and a beautician mother who works her magic not just on her customers' hair, but also on their hearts. Calla Lily grows up in her small town surrounded by wonderful girlfriends and a sweetheart of her own. Wells does in this one what she does best - which is create a whole world filled with characters. There is racial tension in the town - which opens up young Calla Lily's eyes. There are friends whose parents don't quite know how to care for their children as much as Calla Lily's parents do. And Calla Lily herself suffers a heartbreaking loss that shapes her future and the entire way she views the world. She graduates from college and moves on to the big city of New Orleans to pursue her dreams, but she finds herself constantly drawn back to her small town and the people she loves. A few of the plot "twists" were annoyingly predictable, and there were times when Calla Lily's naivete seemed beyond reality. But, for the most part, I enjoyed Wells' standard down home humor. Perfect for a lazy afternoon read.

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