Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder - Rebecca Wells






I picked up The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder on audiobook at my local library.  This was the first book I've read by Rebecca Wells, despite knowing who she is because of the success of her Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. 

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, to sum it up quickly, is the story of Calla Lily, a girl born in the town of La Luna, Louisiana.  Calla Lily grows up surrounded by her dad, her mother (called M'Dear), and her two brothers, as well as a whole town of people who all look out for and love Calla Lily.

The Crowning Glory was, from what I can tell, the perfect book to read for someone who loves when their books are ALL sunshine and roses.  The story was mediocre, there wasn't a ton of tension or unease in the book, and everything happened so easily for Calla Lily.  For example, when she was a teenager, she and Tuck realized that they were attracted to each other.  Then, all of a sudden, with no discussion about it, and no talking to each other about said feelings, they were just a couple - together until Tuck moved to California and never once wrote to or called Calla.  And she just got over her broken heart like that, moved to New Orleans, and went to beauty school.  Then, there's the move to New Orleans itself.  She was working at a diner to save money, then suddenly her dad presents her with this savings bond that suddenly makes it easier for her to move right away, and he acts like he forgot all about it.

Things continue to go easily and smoothly for Calla her entire life, even in spite of massive heartache and loss.  When her mother dies from cancer, the move from death of M'Dear, to Calla moving happens so quickly that one wonders what Calla actually felt about her mother's death.  When her husband is killed in an off shore oil rig explosion, the actual feelings Calla is experiencing are never discussed.  She doesn't get angry and yell at people, or throw things, or express any emotions of anger or sadness at all.

The characters in the book all seem... sort of flat.  They all seemed to have the same voices, and the same personalities for the most part.  The most distinct character in the book was Sookie, Calla's best friend.  Other than that, they see seemed to blend together.  None of them seemed particularly memorable.

Overall, this is a 2 star book, at most.  Read it if you want, but got into it with the knowledge that it is not Wells best work.  Had this been her first book, it probably would not have made it past the editor's desk, at least not without some major improvements.

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