Before I begin this review, I must warn you that I am a fan of Southern lit so I may be a bit biased.
Because I enjoyed the YA-YA SISTERHOOD books, I have been looking forward to the release of Rebeccas Wells' lastest book. THE CROWNING GLORY OF CALLA LILY PONDER follows the adventures of Calla Lily Ponder and her town of La Luna in Louisiana. Calla and her hometown have a special connection to the moon. Calla's mother, M'Dear, owns the Crowning Glory Beauty Porch and teaches her daughter all her wisdom concerning the healing qualities of hair grooming and the Lady of the Moon. As Calla grows up, she faces several painful losses and must find her place in the world and grow into the wisdom that her mother taught her.
I really enjoyed this book. While the YA-YA books dealt with some difficult and painful issues, Wells is much more spiritual and gentle with this book. It is a softer and more sentimental view of a girl growing up. I found myself underlining many of the bits of wisdom that M'Dear offered. The story wraps you up in the world of a small town and leaves you yearning for a simpler time. Calla is such a plucky likeable girl that it is easy to get caught up in her story.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. Though some might find the story a simply retreading of a tale that has been told many times before, I found this book to be charming and comforting. Several passages may bring tears to the eyes of some readers as it did mine. The ending may be a little too tidy for some but this is a nice pleasant vacation read.