Life can be beautiful, but it takes a little work...
“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.
Author: Kim Boykin
Acquired Via: Book Nerd Tours
Release Date: May 14, 2013
The Wisdom of Hair is not what I expected. I thought I would be getting a saucy, witty novel about Southern women in a beauty shop. Instead a found an exploration of relationships between not just lovers, but family and friends that followed Zora Adams to her discovery of what love really is. That is not to say there were no saucy witty moments, but the actual beauty shop time was minimal.
Zora Adams grew up with a really crappy mom, so when she went out in the world, she wasn't the best equipped to make healthy relationships. Thankfully, Sara Jane Farquhar came bursting into her life, and they were instantly best friends. Sara Jane's parents were probably my favorite literary parents because they essentially adopted Zora and loved her unconditionally just because Sara Jane did. It made me all warm and tingly in my chest region whenever I read most of the scenes with any of the Farquhars, and I may have gotten a little jealous that they haven't taken me in yet, too.
However, Zora was faced with the very hot, very widowed, and very drunk Winston Sawyer downstairs from her little apartment. He was kind enough to let her live in the little rental while she was school in exchange for home-cooked meals, and of course she fell head over heels in love with him from watching him through windows. The progression of their relationship was a little fast-forwarded in places (I had to glance back a few pages to make sure I hadn't turned a chapter instead of a page at one point), but it was necessary for Zora's growth. Winston is a man that most women would be desperate to fix, but anyone with any kind of man experience that Zora did not have would know that there is no fixing or changing someone like that. It is a learning experience and a way for her to learn if she can love him for what he is and not she wants him to be.
It was enjoyable to watch Zora learn what it meant to be loved and who is deserving of the love that she has to give. The Wisdom of Hair is a book that I will be definitely be putting in the hands of my library patrons, and I hope that many of you will choose to read it, too.
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About Kim Boykin
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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1 Winner will receive the Kindle pictured above. (WiFi, 6in Display)
4 Winners will get 2 ARCS each, on for them self and one for their hair stylist!
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for reviewing purposes as a part of a Book Nerd Tour in exchange for an honest review. The advance copy was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.