Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily PonderThe Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
by Rebecca Wells

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book:
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily's life set in Wells' expanding fictional Louisiana landscape.  In the small river town of La Luna,  Calla bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for.  Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood-until it is cut short.  Her mother, M'Dear, a woman of rapture and love, teaches Calla compassion, and passes on to her the art of healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair."  At her mother's side, Calla further learns that this same touch of hands on the human body can quiet her own soul.  It is also on the banks of the La Luna River that Calla encournters sweet, succulent first love, with a boy named Tuck.

But when Tuck leaves Calla with a broken heart, she transorms hurt into inspiration and heads for the wild and colorful cit of New Orleans to study at L'Academie de Beaute de Crescent.  In that extravagant big river city, she finds her destiny-and comes to understand fully the power of her "healing hands," to change lies and soothe pain, including her own.  When Tuck reappears years later, he presents her with an offer that is colored by the memories of lost love.  But who know how Calla Lily, a "daughter of the Moon Lady," will repond?

A tale of family and friendship, tragedy and triumph, loss and love. 

My Review:
I liked it.  I liked the characters and the setting.  I was a bit thrown of by the Moon Lady exerpts (could have done without that).  Experiencing a young girl as a teenager in loved made me relate back to my own childhood and first love.  Once Calla moves away to experience life, I loved her new gay friends in New Orleans.  Really, they made the book for me.  Being someone obsessed about my own hair, the book made me want to be a hairdresser too.  There was one unexpected twist in the book, but otherwise, it was a tad bit predictable for me.  It is hard for me to imagine having my childhood friends in my day to day life, but maybe that's how a small town in the south would be.  I would have like to have seen the book end differently, but I enjoyed it.  It kept me reading and I loved the character development throughout.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

God's Dream

God's DreamGod's Dream by Desmond Tutu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Review:
I picked this book out at the local library.  The title intrigued me.  The first time I read it to my daughters, I experienced a feeling of ahhh.  Someone gets it.  This book is what being a believer is all about.  If only adults would pick this book up and read it.  And yes, it is mostly the adults.  Everytime I read this book, my daugter gives me a hug and kiss, because even at 5, she GETS IT.  Have you ever thought about what God dreams about for you?  What kind of person does he want you to be?  For me and my children, we ponder this daily...

As easy as sharing, loving, caring.
As easy as holding, playing, laughing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Torn Thread

Torn ThreadTorn Thread by Anne Isaacs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book: 
It is June 1943, and for four years the Nazi armies have occupied the Polish town of Bedzin.  Twelve-year old Eva, along with her father and her sister, have been forced to leave their comfortable home and move into a tiny attic in the Jewish ghetto.

But for Eva's life takes an even more terrifying turn when she and her sister are torn from their father and imprisoned in a Nazi work camp.  There, Eva is forced to spin thread to make blankets and uniforms for the German army.  As she struggles amid ever-worsening dangers to save her life and that of her sick sister, Eva's world tears apart like the weak threads on her spinning machine...

My Review:
As usual, I am a sucker for anything about the Holocaust and WWII.  I have been intrigued by this time period since I was in high school and college.  I am mostly of German descent, so it intrigues me.  It seems like I was always studying this time period every chance I got.  I was always asking the same question over and over.  WHY?  To be honest, no one ever quite knew or was bold enough to just put it out there.  The following excerpt from the Afterword of the book really hit home for me:

"Under Nazi rule, Germany conquered most of the nations of Eastern Europe, and proceeded to institute a reign of terror and mass extermination of the Jewish people in each country.  The Nazis also imprisoned or murdered members of other ethnic or political groups, including anyone they deemed undersirable to their plan for a "racially pure" Europe."  

So how does one justify in their mind that a race of people considered to be "God's chosen people" could be racially unpure?  I just don't get it and will never get it.  The book captures Eva's journey through the prison camp, trying to care for herself and her sister.  What popped out at me through this short book was the hunger.  They were so hungry and had to work so hard just to survive.  It is a story of love and devotion to family and faith.