As Calla Lily Ponder grows up in the small river town of La Luna, she discovers her talent for hairstyling. She also makes friendships she will keep throughout her life. Her childhood is light, happy, and carefree. She meets Tuck, her first love, and grows up under the watchful and protective glow of the Moon Lady - until her mother passes away. Calla Lily’s life takes a sorrowful turn as she loses her mother and later, when Tuck disappears on her after he leaves for college.
But Calla Lily refuses to let this ruin her life, and she moves to New Orleans where she studies hairdressing and learns even more about the talent she was blessed with. She meets new people, falls in love again, and realizes her dreams. But life gives her another blow that may or may not break her for good. Can her dreams and the strong friendships she has made in life see her through to her much-deserved happiness?
Calla Lily’s Spirit
The main character, Calla Lily, is strong and fascinating. The magic she seems to have with her hands and the way she can make someone relax and feel better make you wish she were your hairdresser and that you could go to her when you were in need of cheering up—or a good hairstyle. Her strength and relationships are also enviable.
Dragging partsIf you’re expecting a gripping story like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, you may be disappointed. Though the novel has its high points, there are parts that are quite slow. Though the pace does give you a good idea of Calla Lily’s idyllic childhood, you may expect more in terms of page-turning action. It’s worth reading till the end just to get closure, but be warned that there may be times when the dragging parts might keep you from picking up the book again.
After Tuck leaves Calla, she lets go of him and moves on. She meets Sweet, a man who brings her unexplainable happiness. When he is taken away from her, Calla and Tuck find each other again at La Luna. Uncovering secrets and realizing that they were kept from each other and never really stopped loving each other, they are reunited. Although Tuck was Calla’s first love, he is eclipsed by Sweet in the second half of the book. When he returns to the story, your loyalties may be a little confused. Sure, you want Calla to be happy, but you are torn between Sweet’s memory and Tuck’s reappearance. It works in theory, but the events in the book don’t flow as smoothly as they could have.
Bookshelf Meter: 2.5 stars
1 star – Don’t even bother.
2 stars – Since there’s nothing else to read…
3 stars – Worth borrowing from a friend, but not buying your own
4 stars – Deserves a spot on your nightstand.
5 stars – Grab this book now and forget the one you’re reading!
Available at Fully Booked and National Book Store
Got a question or comment for Olivia? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olivia Yao has been writing ever since she can remember. She has written for health, teen, parenting, and children's magazines. Her latest endeavor is being a mom to her three-year-old daughter—her toughest assignment yet.