Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Seven Steps to Closure

WARNING: Reading this excerpt will make you want to read the book.  Enjoy!

The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher

I was sitting in the hairdressers, resembling a large wet rat and feeling no closer to obtaining closure. To make things worse, a huge billboard of Jake had been erected straight across the street from Funk Hair - which was Elaine’s brother Tristan's hairdressing salon.
'Yummy,' Tristan had commented, rubbing his hands together when I pointed out the billboard to him and Elaine.
Elaine had kindly responded by sliding one of the pot plants into the window, and positioning me with my back to the board. But if I bent down a little and peered into the mirror I could still see the side of his face, one of his legs and the words Jake Well..... yor. It was a little disturbing.
Tristan is - of course - gay. He is much shorter than Elaine, and doesn't look anything like her - probably due to the fact that they have different biological fathers. Elaine's Dad died when she was quite young. She doesn't remember him and considers Tristan's Dad - a tidy looking Italian man - to be her father. Tristan has taken his father's dark looks and combined them with their mother's good looks and the results are quite stunning. A lot of the women who come to get their hair done at Funk Hair come to enjoy the scenery. Tristan hires a bevy of gay men and women, all of them desirable. He also won the ‘Australian Hairdresser of the Year’ award two years running, so the patrons are never disappointed when they leave the salon. It normally takes weeks to get an appointment at Funk Hair and months if you want to see Tristan. I was very lucky to be one of Elaine's best friends.
'Hmmmmmm,' said Tristan thoughtfully, as he lifted my hair from my shoulders and held it around my face at different lengths.
'Ahhhhhhhhh,' said Tristan contemplatively, as he pulled my hair back behind my head and played with my fringe.
'Uh huh,' said Tristan decisively, as he looked at a colour chart and held different swatches of pigmented hair around my face.
'I didn't say anything about a colour change,' I whispered urgently to Elaine, who was flipping through a magazine with Benny asleep on her lap.
She held it up for me to see. 'See this Tara?' She pointed to the date. 'A current magazine - you and Dinah should try it some time.'
I stuck my tongue out at her.
Meanwhile Tristan had stopped work and was staring at me in the mirror with one eyebrow raised.
Uh oh.
'Did you not ask Elaine to fix this appointment for you?' he asked imperiously. (Have I mentioned that not only is Tristan gorgeous, but he is also a huge drama queen?) 'Did you not beg her to get you in with me as fast as possible?'
'Well actually,' I said.
'Shhhh,' he responded, holding one finger up in the air. 'You beg and you plead and now you insult the master.'
'Oh no, no,' I gushed, 'no, it's just that I've never coloured my hair before.'
'Never?' He held the back of one hand to his beautiful forehead as if about to swoon. When he had recovered he snapped, 'Sebastian, Veronica, major hair emergency. I need you here now.’ And then he started pointing at the colour chart and very rapidly giving orders. I couldn't quite make out what he was saying, and I was trying really, really hard because I was starting to feel a little panicked. What if I looked awful when he'd finished? What if he gave me a hairdo that, while nice on someone else - someone hip and chic and eighteen years old - did nothing for me at all? And then I would have to smile into the mirror, and I mean really smile. Smile so that it made it right to my eyes while I gushed about my hair - when all I really wanted to do was go home and spend hours staring at myself in the mirror willing myself to like it. Oh and worse, I would have to pretend to Elaine that I loved it. I would never be able to get rid of it. Christ what had I done?

Thank you to Donna for allowing me to post this excerpt!  I wish I could have provided a review for this novel, as I certainly have added it to my TBR list!  Alas, it is the season for gift giving, Christmas plays, parties and many other things that have kept be very busy.  I relish my reading time these days!  Watch out, January will bring many new reviews and suggestions!  If you need a gift for the reader in your life or maybe a present for you, you've been good this year right?, this book is a great choice!  Check out for more suggestions and reviews!

Happy Reading!