Published by Berkley Trade
Pub Date: March 5th 2013
Format: Paperback | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Buy the book! | Goodreads
From Book Nerd Tours for Review.
“The problem with cutting your own hair is that once you start, you just keep cutting, trying to fix it, and the truth is, some things can never be fixed. The day of my daddy’s funeral, I cut my bangs until they were the length of those little paintbrushes that come with dime-store watercolor sets. I was nine years old. People asked me why I did it, but I was too young then to know I was changing my hair because I wanted to change my life.”
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.
I didn’t know much about this book before it found its way to me, but something in its synopsis said to me, “READ ME! You’ll love me!” I’m so happy I listened.
The Wisdom of Hair, for me, was a book about finding and knowing true love. Not just romantic love, but true love in family and friendship as well. I think when someone doesn’t grow up with true love they don’t know what it looks like sometimes, and they make a lot of mistakes trying to find it. But the important thing is that we learn from those mistakes and learn to recognize the difference. I think Zora makes a believable journey to finding the love she needs in the end.
The writing in this book was really lovely. I loved the feel of it and how genuine it was. It was melancholy at times, but there are also fun and witty moments that rounded it out so well. All the characters left a lasting impression on me. They were just so well fleshed out.
The Wisdom of Hair is considered Women’s Fiction, but I think it has great New Adult crossover appeal. No, it doesn’t have sexy half-naked models on the cover, but the issues our 20 year old Zora is dealing with certainly are New Adult as well as Women issues. If you want a break from the norm, pick up this wonderful book.
About the Author…
I was born in Augusta, Georgia, but raised in South Carolina in a home with two girly sisters and great parents. So when you read my stuff if there is ever some deranged mama or daddy terrorizing the protagonist, I want to make it clear, it’s not them.
I had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, for some reason, it’s very appealing that the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.
What I did have going for me was two things. One, my grandfather, Bryan Standridge, was an amazing storyteller. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the side of his yard, and people used to come by in droves just to hear him tell stories. He told tales about growing up in rural Georgia and shared his unique take on the world. As a child, I was enthralled, but when I started to write, really write, I realized what a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail he was.
The other major influence on my writing is my ADHDness. Of course when I was a kid, nobody knew what that was. Compared to my older sisters, I knew something was “wrong” with me, so I learned to multitask like crazy and excel at things I did well to make up for things I couldn’t do like math and sitting still.
Today, I’m an empty nester of two kids with a husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes. I write stories about strong southern women because that’s what I know. I’m an accomplished public speaker, which basically means I’m good at talking.
If this doesn’t tell you what you want to know, check out my blog for a few laughs and some good stuff on writing, gardening, food, and, of course, hair.
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