Leaves In Her Hair is Heather Starsong’s first foray into the the world of publishing, however she has had a long career of teaching, storytelling and writing. When I first talked to Heather I could sense a wariness in her demeanor, for an author a review is leap into the unknown. Well Heather has absolutely nothing to worry about, she has crafted a delightful book.

Aimed mainly at the female gender it is part fantasy, part love story, and part exploration of the human psyche. Leaves In Her Hair excels in all three areas.

When I first became a book reviewer I made a silent promise to myself, I would not attempt to analyze the deeper meaning of a book, it is my belief that most authors write for entertainment or the educational factor rather than the English Lit deeper meaning. This particular book though is an exception. It does indeed have a deeper meaning.

The story revolves around Lyra and her husband Michael. Lyra has abandoned her dream of becoming a dancer to become a housewife and mother to her two young children. Although she loves her children and her husband dearly there is a void in her life. The excitement of the stage has been replaced with the monotony of day to day life in a small mid-western town.

She watches from afar as her marriage slowly starts to crumble. Michael is mired in the conservative values of the 1960’s his mission is to be the bread winner, and Lyra’s is to be the homemaker, and to a large extent subservient partner. Her one respite from the torture is the solitude and comfort she finds walking in the nearby woods. Depression and despair finally drive the couple to seek counseling from a psychiatrist, he advises a period of separation, a chance for both to evaluate their needs and wants. But for Lyra even this is no solution, she will be just as trapped without Michael, she still has the full time job of maintaining the house, and looking after her children. This problem is alleviated by Peggy, a young woman who offers to spend the summer with Lyra and help with the house and children.

The fantasy aspect of Leaves In Her Hair concerns Lyra’s experiences while in the nearby woods. While out walking in the familiar woods she finds a pathway that she has never seen before, it leads to a lush grassy clearing with a large majestic oak tree growing near a bubbling stream. The tree becomes her friend, mentor and lover through it’s spirit Derwydd.

Is Derwydd real or a figment of Lyra’s imagination? That is up to the reader to decide.

Leaves In Her Hair is extremely well crafted and Heather Starsong is to be congratulated on producing such a solid work. The story also has much deeper storyline that explores human weaknesses and frailties. While I do not wish to give away too much of the plot it is interesting  to watch how both Lyra and Michael discover themselves and each other through separation.

I think this book will do extremely well with the target women audience.

You can order your copy of Leaves In Her Hair by clicking on the amazon link above.

Simon Barrett

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