Monday, August 15, 2011

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder

We're back from our roadtrip, but before I write about that I wanted to do a quick post on the book I read during the trip.   

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder  is by Rebecca Wells who wrote the Ya-Ya books.  I enjoyed all of those, and didn't know she had written a new book, so when I saw it, it was a must buy.  As usual with Rebecca Well's books, the main character is a girl growing up in a small town in Louisiana.  We meet Calla Lily when she's in grade school in the late 50s and the story takes her through high school and into adulthood and finally ends in the 80s.  Along the way we get to know her friends and relatives and the rest of the close knit community that is La Luna.  Rebecca Wells' descriptions are always very well written and I often felt I was a fly on the wall for the parties thrown by Calla's parents, or when she and her first love shared their intimate moments.  This story is much more of an emotional roller coaster than some of her earlier books.  I won't go in to the ups and downs as I don't want to spoil it, suffice it to say in the course of those 30 odd years, Calla goes through a lot.  I really sympathized for Calla but in the end felt better knowing that her relationships with her friends and family were so strong.

In many ways the story could have been set in any time period, there are some parts that keep the book true to the period whether it be the young black boy who gets beat up and arrested for using a white roller skating rink, or her good friend, Sukey, becoming a Playboy Bunny.

In the end it is a book about relationships and family and how people overcome the obstacles that may stand in their way. I really enjoyed it and hope she writes another one soon.

I've started Lush Life  by Richard Price and so far am not really enjoying it.  It's one of those books though that introduces a lot of characters in the beginning and I think once I get them all straight I think I will enjoy it more.

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