Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Started out slow and felt a little "precious". But by the end, I was swept up in the story of Cally Lily Ponder and her interesting cast of family and friends. I must admit I shed a tear!”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“I always thought I had quite the sweet tooth. I love all things chocolate and candy and am not opposed to a bit of sweetness in my literary life too. But with all things moderation is best - I just wish someone had told Rebecca Wells this when she was writing her latest novel, The Crowning Glory...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Growing up in the very small town of La Luna, Louisiana, during the 60's Calla Lily Ponder and her two best friends, Renee and Sukey, have the typical girlhood dreams of what they want their lives to be. Once they graduate from high school, Renee quickly marries her long-time boyfriend and begins a family; Sukey, the wildest of the three girls, moves to New Orleans to work at the Playboy Club; Calla loses her beloved mother, Madea, to breast cancer and her first love, Tuck, to his own college dreams. Madea had run a beauty parlor called the "Crowning Glory" on the porch of their house and was also the owner, with her husband, of the "Swing N Sway" dance studio. Calla's dream is to be like her mother - a talented beautician who is gifted with 'healing hands' that will not only help the outward appearance of her clients but also help shoulder any inner burdens.
After moving to New Orleans to attend a prestigious beauty school Calla reunites with an out-of-control Sukey who has become an alcoholic. Calla also meets Sweet, a handsome boatman who ferries supplies and workers to off-shore oil rigs. Sweet, his cousin Ricky and Ricky's lover Steve become Calla's family in New Orleans and together they try to help Sukey. Although Calla's heart was broken by Tuck, she learns to trust Sweet's love and she agrees to marry him. But tragedy will follow Calla and she will need 'healing hands' for herself.
This was such a sweet story of love, hope and perseverance. Yes, it does become sappy at times but the characters are so well-drawn that I felt like I was in the same room with them at times. This 'Southern chick-lit' is probably not everyone's cup of tea but it was definitely mine.
“Read January 2013”Judy H wrote this review Wednesday, February 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I thought I did not like RW! Boy was I wrong. Reading all her books now.”mary m wrote this review Monday, February 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Rebecca Wells is a gifted writer, she can make a story out of nothing, and turn a perfectly reasonable story into something I can’t stomach in less than forty pages. I normally don’t have this visceral of a reaction to a novel, but having read the Ya Ya and Blah Blah Sisterhood books, I can say unequivocally that Rebecca Wells has cornered the market on drivel.
I found the whole story too predictable and the characters, every last one, more annoying than the last. Calla herself was insufferable throughout the book, and what troubles me is that it was not the intent to make me hate her.
The story follows the life of Calla Lilly Ponder, your quintessential southern girl. Born and raised in Louisiana, Calla goes through her life in a haphazard way, believing her decisions make a different, but I could never find proof of that. I would never knock the salon industry, but I found Ponder’s utopian hair salon inane and derivative. The only parts of the book that truly compelled me were in the beginning, with her mother and her then-boyfriend, Tuck. The rest of her life story was uninspired, unhinged and predictable. Her gay boss sets her up perfectly and then her husband gets killed off so she can go back home to be with her long-lost love, who’s uncle stopped him from talking to her once he left for school – come on! It reads more like a Harlequin romance, without the smut.
I will always love my book club for broadening my horizons, but if another Wells book comes up, I think I’ll pass on bothering with it at all.”
“Jane read good read”Tue book club wrote this review Tuesday, January 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Didn't get past chapter 1 - not half as good as the Ya Ya Girls.”Kathy G wrote this review Tuesday, January 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I could not get through the first several chapters of this book. It seemed overwritten. I enjoyed other books by Wells, so I was disappointed. ”Christine B wrote this review Sunday, January 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It started slow, but I'm glad I stuck with it.”Haley D wrote this review Wednesday, November 9, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Calla Lily Ponder lives in a happy town where everybody knows each other and neighbors lend a helping hand when ever needed. Tragedy strikes Calla Lily, and her family. This brings her from innocence to the real world. As she grows she learns to love, to hurt and to love life again. I enjoyed this book although not like I did the YaYa books. Rebecca Wells is magical in telling us a beautiful story, a beautiful town, and a beautiful girl.”Diana H wrote this review Sunday, October 16, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No