Beyond the Blonde Review
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Born in a small, working-class town in New Hampshire and raised by a single mom who struggled to make ends meet as the owner of the local salon, Georgia Watkins grew up wanting nothing more than to work with hair—just like her mom. In an attempt to convince a 16-year-old Georgia that there’s life outside the salon, her mother sends her to New York City for the weekend—but it only fuels Georgia’s dream.

In beauty school, Georgia meets Patrick—a gorgeous fellow student who’s unlike any man she’s ever met. Patrick confides in Georgia his dream of working for Manhattan salon—and once he finds a connection at a hip new salon called Jean-Luc, he convinces his friend to move with him to seek fortune and fame in the Big Apple.

Beyond the Blonde is the story of Georgia’s rise from small-town girl to the assistant to an obnoxious senior colorist at a big-name salon to a senior colorist herself—in demand by models, actresses, and the highest of high-society wives. Everything is perfect for Georgia. She’s even found the love of her life in Jean-Luc stylist Massimo. But when the pompous salon owner betrays his most valued employees’ trust, Georgia faces a critical decision. Should she stay at Jean-Luc, where she’s under-appreciated but safe—or should she turn her back on Jean-Luc and the stability he offers by venturing out on her own?

  
 
This book has already created quite a buzz on New York’s society pages. It seems that it might not be all that fictional after all (the author is, incidentally, a top colorist in New York). After reading the book, though, you’ll understand that the hype is all just a part of the PR game that the characters in the book play so well.

For the most part, Flynn-Hui keeps most of her characters anonymous to all but those who religiously follow all of Manhattan’s gossip. For the rest of us, though, it’s a gossipy, voyeuristic peek inside the high-fashion, high-society, you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours lives of The Other Half, told by the person who knows them best—the woman who colors their hair. Readers are taken from small-town New Hampshire to big-city New York to the quaint “cottages” of the Hamptons. And while the plot isn’t exactly fast-paced and action-packed, the story is intriguing nonetheless—and it makes for a fun, light read.

Georgia is one of those characters that The Rest of Us can relate to. She’s a naive small-town girl who’s amazed (and overwhelmed) by the situation she finds herself in. Anyone who’s ever dreamed of the glamour of the big city—and anyone who understands the importance of a good cut and color—will want to pick up a copy.

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