Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Wisdom of Hair
Author: Kim Boykin
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (March 5, 2013)
In 1983, on her nineteenth birthday, Zora Adams finally says goodbye to her alcoholic mother and their tiny town in the mountains of South Carolina. Living with a woman who dresses like Judy Garland and brings home a different man each night is not a pretty existence, and Zora is ready for life to be beautiful.
With the help of a beloved teacher, she moves to a coastal town and enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Cathcart, she learns the art of fixing hair, and becomes fast friends with the lively Sara Jane Farquhar, a natural hair stylist. She also falls hard for handsome young widower Winston Sawyer, who is drowning his grief in bourbon. She couldn't save Mama, but maybe she can save him.
As Zora practices finger waves, updos, and spit curls, she also comes to learn that few things are permanent in this life--except real love, lasting friendship, and, ultimately... forgiveness.
The cover is absolutely fantastic and the title makes this book sound like a Southern Humor Novel, but in reality it's nothing like that at all. It's a much deeper novel about a wonderful girl with a fairly good sense of self who has grown up unloved and desperately wants nothing more than to belong to a family and find out what being loved feels like.
When she manages to break ties with her town and her mother, she has the chance - finally - to feel worthwhile, loved and remembered.
Of course this is not a easy ride down a level street, there are hills and curves involved in life and Zora encounters them all. Winston, an incredibly attractive drunk widower, is a really big curvy hill she has to deal with.
But watching Zora grow and find love and a family is worth the ride.
A lovely story well worth reading.