The Stylist

Cai Emmons, Author . HarperPerennial $13.95 (342p) ISBN 978-0-06-089895-3

Unfulfilled expectations and the need for forgiveness drive this sophomore novel from Emmons (His Mother's Son ), which slowly reveals the power of letting go and letting people in. Hayden Risley, residing in Hoboken, N.J., four months after 9/11, had years previously left Harvard and estranged herself from her two younger sisters; from the fragile mother she adores; and from her acidly demanding absentee father. Working as a hair stylist with coworkers who serve as a surrogate family, Hayden struggles with her past and, six years later, with her mother's death. When a new girl, Emory Bellew, starts working at the salon, Hayden is wary and suspicious. Emory, meanwhile, has her own history to come to terms with, one filled with loneliness and a gender identity crisis. The two rebellious friends eventually form a tentative and compassionate bond, one that leads them to Costa Rica, and to Hayden's father. Stubborn characters and some vivid hair salon–based moments make the most of a subdued plot and dry, sometimes sentimental dialogue, and the whole is made appealingly complex by the ambiguities in Hayden and Emory's relationship. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 368 pages - 978-0-06-153545-1
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-153541-3
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-153546-8
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-188193-0
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