Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New reads:

This week, I'm reading The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells. It's a book that I started in 2013 (see here) but never finished. I'm not really sure why I never finished it because, from what I can remember, I liked it very much. Maybe I just got too excited about the other books awaiting me that I just got impatient. I put it down and it's been sitting on the bookshelf ever since, waiting for me to come back. Well, that time has finally come. It's my pick for #11 on the "26 Books to Read in 2015" list (see here): a book you started but never finished.

Here's the plot:

"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 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 Calla 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 made Wells one of today's most cherished writers, and gives us an unforgettable new heroine to treasure."

I'm really enjoying this read. It's light, entertaining, and warm. The characters are endearing. The writing, like her other novels, is wonderful. Ms. Wells does such a good job of making the places and people come to life. I especially love the relationship between Calla Lily and her mother -- a relationship that is an integral part of the story. The whole mother-daughter relationship is woven through the entire book. It's such a large part of who Calla Lily is. That relationship never leaves her. It's beautiful. I have cried on more than one occasion while reading this book.

If you're looking for a good summer read, I encourage you to check this one out. It makes me want to move to hot, sticky Louisiana and spend my summers soaking in the La Luna River.

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