Small-town girl dreams of coloring hair, moves to Manhattan, fulfills said dream.
There’s something to be said for a chick-lit author who doesn’t bother to set up too many roadblocks in the heroine’s inexorable march towards happiness—one that’s fairly easily overcome will do just fine, thank you. First-time novelist Flynn-Hui, a “color director” at a Manhattan salon, offers an appealing look at one substrata of haute New York culture. Her protagonist, Georgia Watkins, is obsessed with hair and possessed with ambition. Hailing from the tiny New Hampshire burg of Weekeepeemie, she wants to do more than simply join mom in running the local beauty parlor. She just can’t wait to make it to the big leagues—in Manhattan, of course—and color hair for the stars! And that, after a long-winded flashback, is just what she does—at a Fifth Avenue salon called Jean-Luc, where the eponymous French owner is almost as high-maintenance as the socialite clientele. Yet Georgia keeps her rural cool, remaining engagingly down-to-earth and unpretentious. Salon workers are just about the only service employees in the novel who are pampered (indeed, showered with gifts and money) rather than dumped on by their blue-blood clientele. Apparently you can always find a new cook or driver, but someone who can get your hair just the right shade of blond is irreplaceable.
Urbane yet sweetly innocent.