Read The Wisdom of Hair by KimBoykin Online


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. PLife 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....

Title : The Wisdom of Hair
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425261057
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Wisdom of Hair Reviews

  • Courtney
    2019-06-02 06:03

    A pink-bound story of a 1983 Southern woman with childhood of loss and neglect, who attends beauty school because she just wants her life to be beautiful, runs some risk of appearing quaint, in the silly-frilly-negligible sense. Cover praise describes it as “lovely” (Wendy Wax) with a “big, beating heart.” Ann Napolitano continues, “It’s hard to write a book about (mostly) nice people, but Kim Boykin has pulled it off.” I agree with all of this, and I’d like to elaborate, because The Wisdom of Hair is no doily.Kim Boykin gracefully weaves through the characters' battles withchild abuse, postpartum depression, unexpected pregnancy, sex addiction, drug addiction, widowhood and grief, unrequited love, racism, and alcoholism galore. The nature of its Ever After is imperfectly and unconventionally Happy. It left me with aftershocks for days later.The ever-vacillating love story defies formula and explores the depths of grief and guilt. An enormous, morally ambiguous opponent -- Zora’s mother -- touches her every decision. She fights for the approval of wicked older women. She attends beauty school; her mother was a Judy Garland impersonator. She falls in love, but is he her mother’s type? Beauty does not come hand in hand with shallowness, and I have never read a book that so clearly explained why. Her mother finds inspiration in the beauty of Judy Garland. Zora finds redemption in the respect of the customers she beautifies. Textual elaboration to come.A quick, powerful conclusion and poignantly tied ends leaves me hungering for more of this story, but I’ll have to settle for Boykin’s next work. This Review appears on my blog, Studies in Storytelling. http://studiesinstorytelling.blogspot...

  • Jan
    2019-06-24 02:54

    This is not a book I would have picked up on my own. I hate beauty parlors and only go to them out of complete necessity! But it was a group read so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it a chance. I’m so glad that I did because it was touching and delightful book from beginning to end.It is narrated by the main character, Zora Adams. She has had a troubled life growing up with an alcoholic mother and even though it is one of the hardest things she has ever done she leaves her momma to go to beauty school in another city. As the story unfolds, we are taken on a journey of how Zora becomes her own woman separate from her mother and in the process she discovers the strong bond of friendship and learns the importance of forgiveness with grace. This 18 year old mountain girl left home so she could understand and experience what if feels like to be loved and finds it in a completely unexpected place.

  • Samantha March
    2019-06-02 03:14

    Kim Boykin is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours and The Wisdom of Hair. What a charming little read! The book is set in 1983 and follows the life of Zora Adams, who leaves her home in the mountains on her nineteenth birthday to escape her man-loving alcoholic of a mother. A teacher helps her get enrolled at the Davenport School of Beauty and her own place to live. Zora befriends the boisterous Sara Jane Farquhar almost immediately, and is accepted in Sara’s prestigious family as one of their own. She also falls hard for Winston Sawyer, a young widower who is forgetting all the pain with his excessive drinking. Zora learns lessons during her time at the Davenport School of Beauty not only about hair – but about love, friendship, family ... and forgiveness.The Wisdom of Hair was a cute read but also deeply explored the subject of self-discovery. Readers meet Zora when she is pretty low in her life, and watch her as she slowly becomes less and less shy and finds her backbone. The beauty school sections were a hoot to read about, and the whole novel really embodied what I envisioned the ‘80’s to be like. I adored the friendship between Zora and Sara, and Sara’s character in general was so fun to journey with. Sometimes I felt a little disengaged with the characters, in particular with Zora and Winston’s relationship, I think just because it is so very complicated. Sometimes I just wondered what in the world she saw in the man – but I guess we can’t choose who we love, can we? Overall, a very fun and spirited chick lit book!

  • Susan
    2019-05-27 05:55

    This was a tender-hearted book about community and coming of age and falling in love with the wrong guy. I like books about nice people. Also, I learned a lot about hair.

  • Julie Valerie
    2019-05-28 06:06

    It's always a great read when the main character is shaped in part from a childhood of extreme poverty in the Appalachian mountains, the 480 million year old North American mountain range that stretches from north Georgia in the United States into parts of southeast Canada. If you enjoy stories with roots in central and southern Appalachia, a nice complement to Kim Boykin's The Wisdom of Hair would be Elizabeth Flock's Emma & Me. In Boykin's book, the main character, Zora May Adams, moves away from the mountains to a coastal town to attend beauty school, but is reminded of her mountain upbringing in a story-changing scene during a chance encounter that is so harrowing to Zora, I wanted to reach into the pages and pull her into a warm embrace. This, coupled with a visit to her childhood home give much for the reader to contemplate about life in Appalachia as well as the old adage, 'You can take the girl out of [Appalachia] but you can't take the [Appalachia] out of the girl.'The Wisdom of Hair is a story about love, healing and forgiveness and shines a light on the devastating effects of alcoholism, especially when one particular character in the story is both an alcoholic and a narcissist who believes she is Judy Garland. Through the shadows of narcissism come intense shame and convenient distortions of reality making this a truly remarkable story of courage and letting go.I sensed a tinge of a doppelganger, a literary device taken from the German language which means 'double walker' in which one character acts as a copy of another character. I saw a hint of this through the mother-daughter relationship between Mrs. Cathcart, the owner of the Davenport School of Beauty, and her mother - as compared to the mother-daughter relationship between Zora, the main character, and her mother. Ironically, both mothers in this tale, I believe, suffer from a form of Narcissistic Personality Disorder which brings with it warped realities (both mothers are "confused" about their lives as performance stars) and deep feelings of shame for the daughters raised in this mania. I found Zora's reaction (or lack thereof) to Mrs. Cathcart's upbringing quite interesting.There's more than one character in the story that is tragic from beginning to end which gives the storyline an honesty that is needed for Zora to heal and I found it refreshing that those characters did not suddenly up and cure themselves by the closing of the book. Sometimes disease and pain do not simply go away, they have to be confronted, dealt with, and at times, cut from our lives - like a haircut.Two love stories in the book, that of Zora and Winston, and that of Sara Jane and Jimmy served as good contrasts to each other. I found it ironic that Zora found herself literally feeding Winston through cooking that provided her with shelter and figuratively feeding Winston's many needs.Readers will love the young women at the Davenport School of Beauty which serves as the portal for change, not just for the young beauticians seeking a different life, but the clients they serve. Book clubbers will enjoy discussing how Boykin's book compares with other books that celebrate strong sisterhood and the important role of having strong women in our lives.NOTE: I read from a publisher's proof copy before the book was printed. Therefore, I cannot supply direct quotes from the version I read unless the quotes are then checked against the final bound copy. But trust me, there were many great sentences I highlighted while reading on my Kindle. Rest assured, you will enjoy both the story and the actual writing!Complete book review is posted on my book blog, Chick Lit Chit Chat URL: where I'm reading and posting book reviews for 52 books in 52 weeks.

  • Laura Chapman
    2019-06-08 07:02

    Steel Magnolias meets Jane Eyre in Kim Boykin's The Wisdom of Hair.In 1983, Zora Adams turns 18 and moves away from the home she shares with her alcoholic, Judy Garland-obsessed mother in the mountains of South Carolina. She moves to the coast where she will study to fulfill her lifelong ambition of becoming a hairstylist.While there she meets a few people who forever change her life: Sara Jane Farquhar and Winston Sawyer.Sara Jane is the cherished daughter in a supportive family. A fellow student at the school, the girls become fast and close friends. Winston Sawyer teaches English and is an alcoholic widower still coping with the loss of his wife. She comes to love them both, and each shapes her life in a permanent way.As Zora endeavors to become the woman she always dreamed of being, she also must deal with the demons of her past and learn to live with the cards life deals her.The Yankee Girl in me kept making comparisons between this book and Steel Magnolias, as I mentioned earlier.Though I'm well aware these stories are set in different parts of the south, which does not make them the same, I likened it to the movie that I know and love well. This gave me an almost instant interest in digging deeper into this story.More than the southern roots -- Zora is from South Carolina rather than Louisiana -- I kept making this connection because of the tight-knight community of women (and a couple of men) involved in hairstyling. Though Steel Magnolias was more of an ensemble cast story than The Wisdom of Hair, which has a clear-cut heroine, I loved that same element of seeing women (and, OK, a couple of men) be stronger than they appear and finding comfort and support from other each other.I also made the connection to Jane Eyre, because like Jane, Zora is practically if not literally an orphan who finds herself drawn to people who can help or hurt her. She must also make tough decisions about the outcome of her life, which are especially difficult given the challenges she is issued.It was an emotional ride to watch Zora navigate the best decisions for her life. I found myself constantly worrying about her welfare, because I genuinely cared about her. Her missteps were painful to observe, but they only made her movements in the ride direction all the sweeter.Even without my finding connotations to other stories I liked, I would have enjoyed The Wisdom of Hair for its own sake. Filled with plenty of unique characters, placed in a well-described setting, told at a fast -- but smooth -- pace and complete with believable dialogue, this book was a solid read. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys stories about the complexities of family, love and life.I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and balanced review. Originally published at

  • Laura
    2019-06-03 04:49

    I myself being a hairdresser, love books about the industry, so I knew I wanted to read this book when It popped up in my suggestion box. I love the south, and although am a northerner myself, have always been a southern girl at heart, so this book hit home for me. Zora Adams is a strong, witty, and independent character, who is raised by a not so present mother, whose long laundry list of men coming in and out of her life, and her mothers' fantasy world she lives in, leaves Zora dying to escape.Heading into beauty school is that escape for her, and her school reminded me so much of the movie Steel Magnolias, which has always been one of my favorite movies growing up.I loved the relationship between Zora and Mrs. Cathcart, and my only complaint was that I wish there was more hair-styling/salon gossip in the story, because thats really what I went into the book hoping for. Although at times fustratrating, I really liked the dynamic of the relationship between Zora and Winston and was strangely rooting for them, although Winston was reminescent of the kinds of men Zora's mother brought home, I still was hoping for the glimpse of good in to him to shine through. I really enjoyed this book, and would love to see more from these characters. I think the hair industry needs more love in the literary-world, and as a stylist myself, and an avid reader, would never turn down a chance to read a hair salon-centric book. I loved Kim Boykin's southern charm writing style, and can't wait to read more from her.

  • Jess (Gone with the Words)
    2019-06-11 04:11

    Read this review on my blog! --> The Wisdom of Hair by Kim BoykinI 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.

  • werejumpinbooks
    2019-06-16 03:10

    The Wisdom of Hair is a southern story of love, friendship, healing, forgiveness, courage, and learning to let go. You will learn that in life, we often deal with diseased and pained relationships in our lives, and some times, we just have to cut them out of our lives, as we do with haircuts.Zora Adams, main character of the book, grows up in life in abandoned and despairs. Her mother is an alcoholic, and brings men in and out every evening of Zora's life. Zora finally had enough of her mom and called out for help; she embarks on a new life, and starts unfolding her own dreams. Zora becomes a best friend to Sara, and Sara adds that bright of color to Zora's life, and to the book!There are two love stories within this book.Zora and Winston, Zora feeds herself to Winston by fixing him meals, and through that Winston provided a place to live for Zora.Sara Jane and Jimmy love at first sight, and their love blooms before your eyes as you continue to read the book.I can tell you that the story is absolutely great, lovely read, through the writing and the reading. It is definitely necessary read.We're Jumpin' Books

  • Tilara
    2019-06-01 04:04

    You have no choice in the family in which you are born,however you can choose your friends, who will become your family of choice.In Kim Boykin's new book, The Wisdom of Hair, I felt as though the main character Zora Mae Adams, was in many ways, a part of me,as well as friends that I have known and met throughout my life. Like Zora, I too have friends that I love and hold close to my heart in the absence of family. This is an emotional story, of finding love (in many forms) when you least expect it.Zora is a old soul, who has spent the large majority of her life without love, helping to care for an alcoholic and narcissistic mother. It is only when she closes the doors to that world that she finds the love that she was missing all along.Kim,has written a story of love, forgiveness and grace. It is a beautifully written book with characters that are three dimensional and realistic. It has warmed my heart in many ways, and I am sure it will warm yours as well. Very Good!

  • Susan Clark
    2019-06-12 08:08

    This is a terrific read! I usually take my time with a book, but I zipped through THE WISDOM OF HAIR in two days. I just got so involved with the characters. It's very well-written, with realistic dialogue and beautiful description. Loved reading about the best-friendship between the two main characters and seeing how Zora grew and changed when she left her crazy home. The relationship with Zora and her college professor (male) landlord is excellent and kept me on the edge of my seat. The friends she meets in her new town are friends I'd like to know. (And of course I'm a sucker for anything that has to do with hair and style.) Highly recommended!

  • Jim Mcfarlane
    2019-06-04 08:12

    As a male, I was a little leery about the cover art and title of The Wisdom of Hair by Kim Boykin. But my qualms disappeared by page three. This is a well-written, astute, and intelligent novel about a nineteen-year-old girl--correction, an insightful woman, because she had been taking care of herself and her dysfunctional mother for years. Zora Adams reluctantly abandons her mother and her home in the mountains of Cleveland, SC, for the opportunity to create a life for herself, by way of the Davenport School of Beauty 300 miles away.Recommended for anyone who loves good people, good stories, and good writing.

  • Holly
    2019-06-06 01:50

    I have to admit that I was undecided as to what to read next and as I was on Goodreads reviewing my last book read I saw an ad for this book pop up on the side of the screen. I quickly read the reviews for it, which were wholeheartedly good among many 4 and 5 star ratings, so on impulse I bought it. Well, it's fun and frothy and served to fill a brief afternoon but not anything more than that. If you're looking for a quick beach read this is perfect. My hand almost got tired clicking my Kindle so quickly to go from page to page...

  • Kayla Edwards
    2019-06-14 08:11

    This was another one of those books I didn't think I would like but ended up getting really into. I went through this story so fast and got so wrapped up in it. I loved Zora. She was so honest and her flaws weren't sugar-coated. She was a real person that I could relate to - insecurities and all. As an added bonus, Kim Boykin actually visited our book club when we discussed this book the other day. It was a very unique experience - I very much enjoyed hearing her talk about the characters and getting a more complete idea of who they really are!

  • Christine Bruns
    2019-06-17 06:50

    I wasn't exactly sure what to expect out of Kim's debut novel. But I was so pleasantly surprised. I found myself completely falling for the main character Zora, believing everything about her journey. I really love too, that the ending wasn't tied up neatly in a pretty little bow. And best of all after finishing this book I am hungry for more from Kim. Thank you Kim. Keep up the great work!

  • Kathy
    2019-06-17 05:14

    4.5 stars. The Wisdom of Hair by Kim Boykin is a powerful novel about love, healing and forgiveness. It is also an emotional story about friendship and finding family when we least expect it. Please click HERE to read my review in its entirety.

  • Pattie Welek Hall
    2019-05-28 03:15

    I loved the Wisdom of Hair. For me it was a story of the changes one discovers on the path to self-discovery--experiencing life at its fullest, embracing and learning from the ups and downs, having the courage to go within and find one’s truth, then stepping into that truth with grace and living one's authentic life. Well done, Kim. I can’t wait to read the sequel!!!

  • Debbie Epling
    2019-06-10 03:51

    This book is GREAT! I could not put it down trying to see how she came out with her relationship with Winston(thank Heaven I was on a plane and train!)...I won't give it away, but it was really shows what true friendship, love, and family is all about - whether it is blood or the love of friends!!! You HAVE to read this one!!! Knocked it out of the park....BRAVO!!!!

  • Melody Diles
    2019-06-03 01:10

    I enjoyed this book very much! It's is a fun and edgy read. Look for it in bookstores March 5, 2013!!

  • Ashley
    2019-06-09 04:57

    My only problem with this book was that the ending seemed rather rushed. I loved Zora, though. She was a sweetheart and very well written. I was rooting for her to be happy from the very start.

  • Michelle
    2019-06-06 00:55

    Great first novel. The story was well written and drew me in. I felt connected to the characters.

  • Ellie Jean
    2019-06-26 07:11

    3 short chapters in & I already know I'm gonna love this.

  • Terry
    2019-05-29 07:03

    A very sweet, lighthearted, quick read. We enjoyed the easygoing style with which the southern charm of the story unfolded through Boykin's words. The characters and their relationships were wonderful. Boykin wove deep hurt, betrayal, secrets, love, romance, friendship and family into a rich story full of the very best and worst of life. Beautifully written and thoroughly entertaining.

  • Phil McCarthy
    2019-05-29 02:54

    Too much hair no enough storyNeeded more of the love story, more of her sharing and showing that she could be a good mom because she helped raise every one around her. Would have like to see her and Winston make a go of things.

  • Mel
    2019-06-14 04:57

    n/smeh, it was ok. I was hoping for life-changing by the description but it really wasn't

  • Deane Louise
    2019-06-05 03:17

    I enjoyed the book and it was a quick, easy read. Not sure I agree with how some of the characters behaved, but it's the authors story. Looking forward to reading another of her books.

  • Kathleen
    2019-05-30 07:07

    The Wisdom of Hair is an emotional story of family, friendship, self-discovery, love and forgiveness. The year is 1983 in the mountain town of Cleveland, SC. Nineteen year old Zora Adams has had enough of taking care of her narcissistic, alcoholic, man chasing, Judy Garland obsessed mother. Striking out on her own is the only way that Zora can have a better life of her own. Taking advice from her high school teacher, Zora leaves her mountain hometown for a coastal town in South Carolina, where she enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Zora's journey of self-discovery will provide her a chance to grow, make friends, embark on a career in hair styling, find love, learn life lessons, and gain the courage to let go of her past.I am a huge fan of Southern Women's Fiction, and in The Wisdom of Hair, author Kim Boykin weaves a thoroughly enjoyable tale that fulfilled my expectations.Written in the first person narrative, Zora Adams takes the reader along for the ride on her journey of self-discovery. When the reader first meets Zora, she is a shy young woman who is wiser than her years because she is the enabling caretaker of an alcoholic mother. Suffocating in her role, Zora strikes out on her own in search of making a better life for herself. Her journey takes her to a coastal town in South Carolina where she enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Zora grows as she makes new friends who will ultimately change her life: Mrs. Cathcart, owner of the beauty school; outgoing classmate Sara Jane Farquhar, whose close friendship provides Zora with a family that she desperately craves; and a romantic relationship with Winston Sawyer, a young widower who is drowning his grief in alcohol. Each of these people will help redefine, shape, and change Zora's life in a profound way.This beautifully written and captivating story engages the reader to follow along as Zora's journey of self-discovery leads her on a path of experiencing life at its fullest, while embracing life's challenges and lessons, and having the courage to let go of her past as she forges a life of her own. This story has shades of Steel Magnolias running through it, as it gives the reader a warm and fuzzy feeling as they follow Zora, Sara Jane and Winston's stories. I loved that the author chose the 1980s time period for this story, it embodied all the fun that made up that decade. I also love the hair salon setting, it brought to mind many fond memories of spending time in my family's salons in both NJ and NC.With a quirky cast of characters; witty dialogue and interactions; a richly descriptive setting; and a storyline that delves into the complications of family, friendships, love and life; The Wisdom of Hair is an entertaining tale of hair styling and self-discovery that simply made me smile.Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot...

  • Rachael
    2019-06-14 04:18

    See more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!So “New Adult” is defined as the genre that explores that strange period of time when you’re transitioning from adolescence to “true” adulthood. It’s about learning to grow up, let go, and discover new things. Of course, most of the time I don’t think I get to truly see that in New Adult. Like I mentioned before, there aren’t many New Adult novels that I find are much more than just “cute stories”, even if they’re extremely well-written. THE WISDOM OF HAIR, though, was a completely different case for me. Engaging, touching, and truly inspiring, the story really brought alive Zora’s journey and discoveries.Surprisingly, I found that I really liked the beauty or hairdresser element of the story. It wasn’t that I was expecting to completely hate it, but I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought! Like the blurb says, changing your hair is really like trying to change your life. And that theme of sorts is really shown through the book in interesting ways. I was intrigued by the huge significance and meaning behind beauty and hair!I also really enjoyed Zora’s character! Kim Boykin does a great job bringing her character to life, whether it be through her goals, personality or identity. Throughout the book, you get to know her as a completely loyal friend, a caring lover, a conflicted daughter, and a really sincere person. She also really grows throughout the book, changing from a more naïve girl to a more experienced, independent and forgiving person. I especially admired her ability to do what’s right for herself and take control of her life. And like any realistic character, she has her own flaws, which, of course, made me love her character even more!But the novel isn’t all about Zora. It’s also about how her best friend Sarah Jane discovers true love and makes decisions about her own future. It’s about Zora’s “second family” the Farquhars, and how they learn to accept others and support Zora. It’s about Zora’s mother, and how she deals with her past and family’s future. It’s about how Winston deals with what truly happened with his past and how he will deal with Zora. All of them came together, in order to weave a family of sorts for Zora, with their own set of touching stories.THE WISDOM OF HAIR was absolutely stunning in its emotion, depth and inspiring and developed characters. Really, it has anything I’d look for in a New Adult or Contemporary novel! Chick-lit, NA or contemporary readers need to read this novel ASAP. Even if you’re not the hugest fan of New Adult, I’d still suggest picking up this novel – I feel like it’s different from all the NA contemporaries out there!* A copy of the book was provided for its blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book.

  • Chelsey Wolford
    2019-05-29 02:49

    Once again another southern tale read by me this month! The south is just so full of tradition, history, and culture that it is so hard for me to deny books that are set in its rolling hills and luscious lands. As a young girl, my mother worked in a beauty salon, and I would spend my summer days there with her and with all the other vibrant characters that dawned the front doors on a daily basis as well. The women were always chattering so loudly and full of life, and I remember feeling such a joyful feeling when I was there. I have never been interested in doing hair myself, but when I saw this new book by Kim Boykin, I knew that I would have to give it a try.Zora Adams is used to a life of abandon and despair. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father has been deceased for many years. Zora is used to seeing a different man’s face every evening, when her mother brings them home from a rowdy night at the local bar. And to be quite honest, Zora is tired of it. When her high school English teacher offers to rescue her from her horrid home life, Zora obliges. She embarks on a new life and starts to follow her own dreams; one of those being to learn how to do hair. Miss Cunningham, her teacher, arranges a place for Zora to stay taking care of a lonely widower and his homestead. Zora doesn’t expect him to be so young and attractive, and neither does she expect to fall head over heels in love with him!I love the atmosphere and the lovely characters that make up the beauty school in which Zora attends. I especially love the relationship between Zora and her teacher, Mrs. Cathcart. Zora’s new friend, Sara Jane, adds a bit of spice to the novel as well. She is amazing with hair and a true rebel in life; my kind of girl. She helps Zora break out of her shell and free from the life she used to live. The only thing that I would have liked have been different was the amount of “salon talk.” When I think of a southern beauty salon, I think of gossiping, chatty women who cannot get enough of each other. I wish there would have been more of that, but I am not complaining as I still enjoyed the company of the women in Zora’s life.Zora’s story is inspirational and as soon as I started reading the book I already hated her mother and was ready for her to break free from her. Zora’s new life is still a little shaky and she goes from living with one alcoholic to living with another, but Zora see the light at the end of the tunnel. I loved her affections toward Winston and I loved her naïve nature when she was around him. These characters were all so vibrant and the small southern town felt very real to me!***A HUGE thank you to the publishers at Berkley Trade for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

  • Suze Lavender
    2019-06-18 07:03

    Zora is ready to leave her mother and hometown behind. The decision to go away isn't easy as Zora is loyal to her mother and she wants to take care of her. Zora's mother is an alcoholic who dresses like Judy Garland and who isn't living in the real world. She often brings home men who are frightening Zora. Things can't go on like that and Zora is finally ready to go. She chooses beauty school to escape the miserable life she's living. With the help of a caring teacher Zora finds a place to stay. She can live there rent free as long as she cooks for the owner of her home. From her apartment Zora can see what Winston's doing. He's a widowed professor and every night he gets terribly drunk. He's obviously drowning his sorrows. Zora wants to save him, but he doesn't seem to notice her at first. When that finally changes the question is if Zora can make him heal or not.At beauty school Zora meets Sara Jane Farquhar who's brilliant with hair and even better with friendship. Zora finally knows what it's like to be loved. Sara Jane's family is more than happy to accept her as one of their own. When both Sara Jane and Zora think they've met the love of their life the family should be there to support them. They both need it, but in a different way. Zora's doing well at school, but what about the rest of her life? Will she finally be able to be happy?I loved this beautiful story about family, love and friendship. I loved Kim Boykin's beautiful writing style, it made the story feel so real and alive. Zora's troubles don't end when she moves away from her mother. She hasn't got much experience in love and she thinks she can make Winston's life better and make him stop drinking. She wasn't able to save her mother, but maybe she can save him. It's such an idealistic thought, but it might not be a very realistic one. I loved the talk about hair and the way beauty school makes sure Zora has a future. The friendship element in this novel made it really special. Sara Jane isn't just a friend, she's an amazing girl with a strong and supportive family. It doesn't matter that she's known Zora for just a few months, it's like they've always been friends. That was the most beautiful thing about The Wisdom of Hair. Sara Jane instinctively knows how to make the right choices. I loved her character and could totally picture this wonderful and warm person with an equally loving mother. The remarkable female characters are making the story strong and unique. I liked them all very much and they are the reason I fell in love with this wonderful story.