Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder

by Rebecca Wells

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: A NovelWho doesn't love some good Ya-Ya's? I adored every one of those books and think of them often. So endearing. And that was why I was so excited when Wells released Crowning Glory. For some reason, I'm drawn to books that drip with that sweet, Southern charm (I'm looking at you, Fannie Flagg).

From page one, Calla Lily made me smile. Her relationship with her mother and her dream to become a "famous" hairdresser was so cute and honest. I was really connected to the title too because my grandmother always told me, "your hair is your crowning glory." Her little phrases will pop into my mind when I least expect them and they always make me smile. I think my favorite was, "save your tears for when you're hurt."

I digress. The first half of Crowning Glory is the expected, enchanting tale. But a few tragic events take place and the book changes pace a bit. Cally Lily goes to New Orleans to attend beauty school and realize her dream. There she meets wonderful people, forms friendships and gets married. And although more tragic events follow, the story becomes way too over-the-top syrupy for my taste. Do this: with a cheesy grin, stick your index finger in your cheek and twist back and forth. That's how I felt finishing this one. Cheese ball. I have to admit that I didn't even finish the last page. Didn't care. I had had enough of how life is so perfect and friends are so perfect and she's so perfect and...puke. I'm sorry to say this one falls short of some very high expectations.

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