I got a bad perm once, one of those tight spiral 80s style ones, except it was 2001. I was depressed for 6 months solid. Unhappy every time I looked in the mirror. I only started to feel better when on a particularly bad hair day I walked into to a salon I’d never been to and got a cut from a Russian woman. She took each one of the curls and cut the tapered to widen them. The curls got looser and my hair was bouncy and fun again. So, you won’t find me diminishing the sacred value of a great hair stylist and the contribution to the mental health of her clients she can make.
While finding her own place in the world as joys and tragedies open her up and close her off from life, Rebecca Wells‘ title character in The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, is on a quest to use her “healing hands” to release people of their sorrows giving them a feeling of relaxation and confidence through their experience at her salon. She follows the guidance of the “Moon Lady” as she was taught by her. Calla Lily is a colourful girl whose mother believed everyone is better off dancing though life, and Calla Lily does her best to honour that with her own life and choices, though she discovers it’s hard to do what you know to do in the face of hardship.
Rebecca Wells was weaves spirituality and a little mysticism with everyday trials of life in a way that is delicate and light-hearted, when Calla Lily experiences loss you are right along with her, and also learning from her journey and her will to resurface and open up again to life as he mother in Calla’s eyes, always did. Calla Lily and her friends and family leave you longing for the richness and space of a simpler life that Wells’ depiction of small town of La Luna seems to offer.
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, is a worthy, easy read that will bring tears to your eyes and leave you laughing, while reminding you to take time for yourself, to forge strong friendships, and to open to love fully when it comes to you, while always making sure you’ve got a hair-do that makes you feel beautiful beyond words.
Here’s what Rebecca Wells herself has to say about the novel: