The Beauty Room

 

The Beauty Room‘… a superb writer. I was totally there in that house and in that atmosphere. It’s incredibly sensual and physically realised. I found it both gripping, in that I kept creeping away to read it, and disturbing, in that I felt a lingering sense of that atmosphere, almost a dread. Also very sexy …’
Lesley Glaister

The Beauty Room is set in Switzerland during the two-week period of Carnival, a time of recklessness, confusion and disguise, a time when appearance becomes reality.
Celia Roth is a single thirty-something who has lost her unloved and unloving mother, a beautician who treated her clients in her home, in what she called the ‘beauty room’. The death catapults Celia into a world of sudden wild desires, a world of freedom and real liberation. Her first act is to ring up a decorator – and it doesn’t take her long to fall for him. As the walls are getting stripped back to the plasterwork, she is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about her family. And when she receives a bouquet of black tulips, she realises she is being watched. She flees to the safety of the Alps, but even there finds no rest…

 


Reviews

 

‘a search for love is at the heart of this ambitious first novel … dramatic … shocking and rebarbative … an impressive debut novel, elegantly written with a generous cast of cleverly drawn complementary characters’
Carl MacDougall, Herald

The Beauty Room is a sensitive account of the process of bereavement. Claire’s symbolism is inspired: a beautician whose professional skill cannot disguise her facial cancer though she does a brilliant job of masking her private life; a subterranean cave whose secret underlies the relationship between Gabrielle and her estranged son. Although not for the prudish, it is full of insight and fine writing which will stay with you long after Celia moves out of Gabrielle’s shadow into the new life she craves.’
Scotsman

‘As the … family history unfolds, Celia’s repressed sexuality emerges with a bristling electricity that fairly crackles off the pages. … Strange and menacing … beautiful writing’
Scottish Book Collector

‘Regi Claire’s vision is fresh, unusual, and subtly delivered in The Beauty Room. Her sharply imagined opening scenes swiftly focus intense, often unexpected emotions, and these are intriguingly extended throughout. Colourful and haunting, this is a novel which long remains in the mind – an impressive debut, and a welcome addition to the Scottish literary landscape.’
Randall Stevenson, author of The Oxford English Literary History: 1960-2000

The Beauty Room fairly hums with sexual tension’
Sunday Herald

‘an original and enjoyable debut’
List

‘a fine tale of intrigue and tension’
Caledonia

The Beauty Room is tightly written, terse with gripping sexual tension.’
Isla Dewar

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