“My name is Calla Lily Ponder. I was born in 1953 in La Luna, Louisiana, on the banks of the La Luna River. That is where my mother cut and curled hair, and my father and mother together taught tango, waltz, and the Cajun two-step. They said they named me for their favorite flower because they wanted me to spiral open into radiant beauty, inside and out. Even when I was born, a red, tiny, hollering thing, they claimed they could see the beautiful, creamycolored, velvety bloom of a calla lily.
My eyes are blue like my mother'sI call her M'Dearand my complexion is olive like Papa's. I guess the only thing that resembles the flower I'm named for is my long, strong legs. They've served me well so far, and I'm grateful for that. I was taught not to care much what other people thought, unless someone said you were mean to them, and it was true. Then you better pay attention. My big brothers and I learned this at an early age: That it is kindness that makes you rich.”
—from The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
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 all too soon. 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 the sweet, succulent first 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’Académie de Beauté de Crescent. In that extravagant big river city, she finds her destiny—and comes to fully understand 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 have made Wells one of today’s most cherished writers, and gives us an unforgettable new heroine to treasure.
Praise for Rebecca Wells’s
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
“The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder will remind you of your first love and power of friendship. As the saying goes, ‘You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.’ But, really, you will.”
"Wells weaves more of the magic that made her a bestseller. . . . Chock-full of Southern charm and sassy wisdom . . . it benefits from a hearty dose of Wells's trademark charisma. . . . [Calla's] sure to be a crowd-pleaser thanks to her humble aspirations, ever hopeful heart and perseverance no matter what fate throws at her."
“Wells returns with a preciously sentimental stand-alone novel that once again pays homage to the quirky Southern female. . . . Calla Lily Ponder is every bit as affable as her name suggests. . . . Expect high demand from loyal Ya-Yas fans, who have eagerly awaited a new work from Wells.”