I will be honest and state here that I had never heard about this book prior to the recently released ad for the Netflix movie which premiers in September. But like with most other movies, once there is a book I prefer read the book prior to watching the movie. And as a natural, you best believe I wanted to read that book just out of curiosity to see if the same happened with her as with most naturals and how her story would be told and unfold.
Nappily every after was not short of being an awesome book. Apart from the obvious theme of a woman “big chopping” her hair it touches on major points that we as women face even in today’s society.
We see a woman who is faced with the internal struggle of not only accepting the “new” version of herself that she has become, but her struggle to be accepted because of it. We see how differently she feels and is treated based on her “going away” from what is “accepted” as being “woman” and what is defined as being “beautiful” – society’s definition that is. Throughout the book I kept hearing the song in my head I Am Not My Hair by India Arie. The struggle Venus, the main character of the novel, faces becomes so much to bear because of her decision to cut off all her “beautiful” hair and choose a bald cut. She feels ignored by men who once found her attractive, she feels that people stare at her, and not in a good way, because of her cut – and it makes her uncomfortable.
But the book touches on more than just hair. It highlights issues such as sexual harassment and the advancement of women in the work place. We have over the years heard a number of stories about women who have struggled to excel in the business world because it is not the “norm”. Or the struggle women face because the impression created was that in order to progress one must “sleep” with whomever is in charge. It also touches on the respect given to her while her hair long. She was basically an outcast and “suddenly” told that she was incompetent. A sentiment, she felt, which was never shared prior to her new look.
The book is also a love story. A story of how two people who had once loved each other so much discover their true selves and realize that they were in the relationship for convenience and not necessarily love. Now I will say that my mouth dropped when Clint asked Kandi to marry him after dating her for weeks. And Venus had waited for him to propose to her after being together for four years. I was like “bruhhhhhh, how you gonna hurt a sister like that”. But as I kept reading I understood more and more how he felt, and how Venus felt, and that their relationship made it difficult to feel like “I am ready for that step”. Love can sometimes be crazy but it is indeed beautiful.
But the theme that resonated with me most was that of self acceptance. It is with accepting ones true self that growth can truly begin. We see Venus having an “epiphany” through a painting in the museum and from that moment we see her growth journey begin. She had begun accepting who she was and knew that she was about to be greater – the best version of herself. Her self acceptance allowed her to think differently and look at things from a different angle. And in the end of the book, we see her getting that dream job she wanted and being engaged to a man that she had truly fallen in love with. See, Love is indeed beautiful.
So all in all I give this book an 8.5 out of 10. I loved it and had a few of those “don’t want to put it down” kind of moments. And since I had downloaded the Kindle version ,because I did not want to wait two weeks to receive it from ordering, I basically had it everywhere I went and in three days I was done reading. But even with that I felt that some parts of the book were a bit all over almost making it a bit hard to follow- almost. But it was an awesome book and I await the movie and look forward to seeing if it brings out the characters and themes as they are portrayed in the book.
Here’s to being Nappy
Until Next Time Loves