The Wisdom of Hair by: Kim Boykin

Image   Zora May Adams is a sweet, kind-hearted young girl who grew up with a “crazy” mother.  After dealing with her mother’s delusions of being Judy Garland and her alcoholic behavior, Zora decides to leave.  She goes to beauty school and trains to become a hair stylist.  She meets a classmate that becomes her best friend and “sister”.  Throughout the story you see their relationship develop as well as the new family that Zora is brought into.  As with any coming of age story, there is a love story weaved in.  However, Zora’s love story is more about loving herself and forgiveness than it is about the romantic love between two people.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It was interesting to have Zora’s life revolve around styling hair because a woman’s hair can be her most telling feature.  Any change to a woman’s hairstyle is a reinvention to one’s self.  Think about the days when you are having a bad hair day; you put your hair up or cover it.  Usually it is an outward hint as to how you are feeling.  Women that may have lost their hair to chemo or illness sometimes proudly show off their bald head and exude power and beauty.  Women may color their hair in vibrant, funky colors to show off their individuality.  A woman’s hair is sometimes her most valuable expression of herself.  For Zora, her first taste at changing her hair was cutting her bangs after her father’s death.  Not only did she want to change herself but she wanted to help change everybody that she was able to.

This is a story of change and empowerment; love and forgiveness and the ability to find strength within one’s self and those that care about you.  Zora find herself a “new” family and it is then that she begins to heal and change.

I highly recommend this book to book club groups and individuals.  I give this book 5 crowns.

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