Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Beyond the Blonde

Is there a genre called gossip lit? There should be. All you need to know is that author Kathleen Flynn-Hui is "the star colorist at Salon AKS, [and] the wife of acclaimed stylist Kao Hui." Certainly her inside story of a small-town girl that becomes a top-flight colorist at a celebrity salon resonates with authenticity. But her deftly-penned sketches of the employees and the clientele make you wonder who she's really talking about.

The story line is not complicated: Georgia Watkins, daughter of the owner-operator of the number-one salon in Weepeekeemie, New Hampshire, wants to follow in her mother's footsteps. She leaps from beauty school to the bottom rung at a hot new salon in Manhattan, and never looks back--or does she?

But as I said, it's not so much the story as the milieu and the personalities. And despite the inside-scoop gossipy flavor, it is remarkably discreet. An occasional burst of language, a brief and not-too-explicit bedroom scene, but probably not more than a strong PG-13.

So if you've ever wondered what it's like on the other side of the stylist's chair, take a seat. Georgia will be with you in a moment.


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