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Extended Audio Sample The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder Audiobook, by Rebecca Wells Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,244 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Wells Narrator: Judith Ivey Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9780061961496
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The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny tale of Calla Lily's life set in Wells' ever-growing fictional Louisiana. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla Lily enjoys a blissful childhood under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide her throughout her life. From her mother, M'Dear, Calla learns the old, womanly art of healing through "fixing hair."

On the same river banks, Calla tastes the sweetness of first love. But when a broken heart knocks the breath out of her, Calla 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 comes to understand fully the power of her "healing hands" to change lives and soothe pain, including her own.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Shamelessly sappy and eerily realistic…there’s something down-to-earth and comforting about this novel.”

    Washington Post

  • “Calla Lily is a sweetie…This is a novel full of miracles, with characters more colorful than a Crayola 64-crayon box. It’s just the right dose of Southern charm for that afternoon on the veranda, accompanied by a tall glass of sweet iced tea.”

    Seattle Times

  • “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 Well’s trademark charisma.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Judith Ivey’s performance is a pure joy—sweet, hopeful, and tender. Her interpretations are completely winning…Ivey’s accents ring true, her characters have substance, her voice is lovely, and her timing is perfect. An audio gem.”

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the September 2009 Indie Next List
  • AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 berrybuzz | 2/16/2014

    " I was a little wary at first, the dust jacket description was weird and off putting to say the least. But I've enjoyed Wells other novels so I plunged in. So far, so good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Traci Haley | 2/9/2014

    " Wasn't sure I would end up liking this book when I started it, but I fell in love with Calla Lily Ponder and her magic hands. Loved the hints of Paganism throughout the book and I loved how Calla's life ended up working out! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 1/18/2014

    " I loved this book, as much as the Ya ya books! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 1/16/2014

    " I was a bit disappointed with this book. Rebecca Wells usually delivers stories that have me re-telling to all who will listen. The protagonist is typically a very strong, witty and callous female. Calla is just a little too sweet. To make this a successful book, she needed more edge. This was a little to "chicken soup for the soul" for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mich | 1/16/2014

    " Needed a Southern infusion and this was it. Yea! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/13/2014

    " This is a good long Louisiana story. The characters are developed over decades and there is, of course, a long love story which is one of the plots which keep you going. Unfortunately, it is the same tale with a different group of characters. There was nothing to make me want read it again. Similar to a Nicholas Sparks book, without the N.C. locale. Worth reading if you need a novel to keep you entertained on vacation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 1/7/2014

    " I enjoyed Rebecca Wells' book about Calla Lily Ponder. It was a sweet story about a girl growing up in a small, Louisiana town who experiences love, tragedy, and forgiveness. Calla is a very determined girl who knows what she wants and accepts nothing less than happiness. A refreshing story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erika | 1/2/2014

    " The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder reads like a slow hot Louisiana summer day. Beautiful, and although a little slow, the story is warm and cozy. I enjoyed this book and was glad to see another good book by Rebecca Wells. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 12/29/2013

    " What a delightful read! Calla Lily Ponder is one sure-fire pistol of a gal! The characters were deliciously three dimensional people that you just know you would love to sit down with and let the conversation take you where it will. It was a bit predictable in spots, but the story was just so good, that it didn't seem to matter. The reader actually was glad for the absence of "twists". Calla Lily grew up in a small town in central Louisiana, moves to the Big Easy to train as a beautician and then moves back home to LaLuna and in each of those settings, Ms wells draws a masterful portrait that gives one a firm sense of the place. The classic advice to writers is to write what you know, and with the way Ms Wells writes, one is convinced that she knows whereof she speaks. This one made me sad to finish it. I wanted it to go on, and on, and on! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 12/26/2013

    " "Lighter" than her other books, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and could hardly put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy Ross | 12/23/2013

    " What a pleasant, enjoyable read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Toby | 12/22/2013

    " Loved it!! A tear jerker, but worth it. Calla's mother dies when she is 16 and she eventually becomes a hair dresser. A great love story. Lots of stories about hair dressers and their ability to "heal" people with massages, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anjula Brown | 12/5/2013

    " really enjoyed the real life events in this book, makes you realize what you have in life and cherish it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madeline | 12/4/2013

    " Really good! If you have ever lost someone....such a good book. I have never cried so much in a book. Very quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carla | 11/16/2013

    " Loved it....another good low country story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marissa | 10/19/2013

    " Not too deep, or too serious, but it did have me crying at points. A colorful fast read. Overall I enjoyed it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha Jones | 9/17/2013

    " Louisiana set family saga of love, loss, and life experiences. I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 6/30/2013

    " I was looking for another "Ya-Ya" but enjoyed these new characters as well. You just can't beat Southern eccentric lit, especially in the summer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kappy Russell | 4/19/2013

    " This was my first Rebecca Wells book, and I'll tell ya she had me hooked! Love her wit and humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 3/25/2013

    " I was surprised to see how many bad reviews this book had. I got hooked in the beginning and really liked the characters and the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry Murphy | 3/9/2013

    " Seriously good book. Cried several times. Some great passages in here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Halfwaynowhere | 10/29/2012

    " This book was beautifully written. Spiritual without being religious. I was choking back tears through several parts of the story. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down, and finished it in about 4 1/2 hours. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 10/5/2012

    " Hard to get into at first, but good once the story line started developing. Overall an enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Truthmonkey | 6/18/2012

    " I loved the Ya-Ya books, and I was so excited about a new book by Wells. And then I was so disappointed. It's juvenile writing, and a boring plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Lutz | 11/18/2011

    " i cried a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lily | 9/15/2011

    " This is my new favorite book (and its not just because of the main character's great name)! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Dermond | 9/14/2011

    " unusual. a entertaining read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellie | 8/27/2011

    " Easy read. Great characters. Got totally swept up in ups and downs of Calla Lily's life. Can't remember the last time a book brought me to tears like this one. A great escape! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Casey | 5/21/2011

    " This book needed a little more ooomph, but Rebecca Wells can romanticize location like no other writer. She makes you want to climb into Louisiana and curl up with it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 5/17/2011

    " Beautifully written. Has a bit of a gypsy/hippie vibe to it, but you learn to appreciate it. Makes me want to visit New Orleans and get a taste of Louisiana culture. I don't get emotional reading books, but if you're prone to crying, definitely keep a box of tissues nearby. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelly | 5/11/2011

    " Wonderful exploration of a life with a non-traditional call to healing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 5/6/2011

    " I loved this book. It made me cry and laugh and I just absolutely loved it.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 5/1/2011

    " Mixed reviews here too. I enjoyed the story as a whole but I think it took too long to get where it was going. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat | 4/13/2011

    " An old favourite of mine, still just as wonderful... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 4/11/2011

    " This title is really long, but once you read the story you will get it. Really sweet, easy read. Found it on a summer reading list in a magazine, and I'm glad I chose to read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glissbliss | 4/5/2011

    " This was great on audio! I really enjoyed the story and the narration. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 3/29/2011

    " I am 1/3 through the book so far and can't decide if it's worth my time to finish. It's just not as entertatining to me as Rebecca Wall's previous books about the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere which I really enjoyed (especially the latter). "

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About the Author
Author Rebecca Wells

Writer, actor, and playwright Rebecca Wells is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Ya-Yas in Bloom, Little Altars Everywhere, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which was made into a feature film. A native of Louisiana, she now lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

About the Narrator

Judith Ivey was born in 1951 in El Paso, Texas. She was not quite yet a Tony Award–winner, but already a prolific Broadway and stage actress when she made her film debut appearance as Steve Martin’s love interest in Arthur Hiller’s The Lonely Guy. She then went on to star as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s older sister in the southern gothic thriller Sister, Sister. She came to star (despite her impressive resume) as what would be her better remembered role, Texan B. J. Poteet in the last season of Designing Women. Other notable characters she has played in film include Keanu Reeves’ mother in Devil’s Advocate, one of three intrepid psychics investigating a haunted house in Stephen King’s three-part miniseries Rose Red, and the recurring role of Debra Messing’s mother-in-law Eleanor Markus on Will & Grace. Her audiobook narrations have won her five AudioFile Earphones Awards.