Crowning Glory: River’s Journey is Taylor Thompson’s debut novel that follows in the footsteps of notable writers like Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Her story focuses on River Thomas, a young black girl who is struggling with self-acceptance and particularly her insecure connection to her hair. Set in 1956 the story follows her journey, which begins with her hair in childhood and then moves forward into her adult life, again tying the plot back to her hair. This is a story that examines coming to terms with yourself and how you feel perceived by the world around you.
The story begins on a hot August afternoon in Hopewell, Texas when River Thomas at the young age of 8 years old has her scalp burned by melting pomade that her mom is using to straighten her hair with a pressing comb being heated on the kitchen stove. River forces herself to accept the pain and insists that her hair needs to be nice and straight just like the white Jesus who looks down at her every Sunday with his own straight hair. As a teenager she goes on to realize that her straight hair isn’t enough to win her the heart of Elvis and in that moment decides to stop straightening her hair. She then decides to wear and afro and as the story progresses we see her marry a man she never truly wanted to marry, but chose to because she was pregnant with his child. We follow her life through the highs and lows, with her fighting to make a place for herself in the world. River’s journey is inspiring and shows perseverance in the face of tremendous amounts of adversity.
Thompson has written a story that examines not only River’s life, but the lives of the people around her. Everyone is facing their own rocky paths and pushing to find their way, but ultimately there are moments of happiness and peace when they allow themselves to focus on growing themselves and not letting the world around them push them down. River is an exceptional lead character and she works so hard to gain her dreams and keep moving forward, even when no one seems to care what happens to her. She is a self motivating woman who knows what she wants in life and finds a way to accept herself and what she wants, even after years of being pushed down. You can get your copy of Crowing Glory: River’s Journey today.