In true Wells style, the story is both a page turner as well as a tear jerker. Maybe its just me, but I cannot read one of her novels without a box of tissues – but not in that “shocking” way…..in the nice way, the cathartic way, the way you want to cry when you read a beautifully written, somewhat predictable novel.
Set, as most of Wells novels are, in the
backwater south….I mean, rural Louisianna, the story is both a coming of age story as well as a spiritual journey that transcends age. We are introduced to young Calla (Calla Lilly Ponder) in her todler years, and follow her as she matures – learning about her first love, her siblings, her devotion to her mother and her aspirations as an adult. We see her mother pass; we see her friends rise and fall; we see her determination; we see her poise and grace; and we see her learn to live with sadness and embrace happiness. We also see the difference in the “city mouse” vs. “country mouse” I think we all recognize.
What we don’t see here is a much imagination – it’s not a masterpiece, but it is an enjoyable read. Wells states on her own website that she is proud of this novel because it was fun to write – it was fun for her to explore characters outside of the YaYa trilogy….. and while that may be true, she shouldn’t be THAT proud – because the characters, while well developed, aren’t very original.
If I actually was headed to the beach, it would be a beach read for sure. It’s not challenging, and while you may question if it took me long to read (seeing as though I’ve left you hanging for over a week when it comes to a blog post!), it took me about 5 days of intermittent reading to finish.
I am a Wells fan, so please don’t take this review as anything but positive. That said, it is not the best book I’ve read – by far. It’s an easy, chillaxed chic-lit book that I recommend to anyone who’s looking for a no-brainer that makes you tear up.
Character Development: A