The Roots Of Desire: The Myth, Meaning And Sexual Powers of Red Hair Book Review

NPR commentator Marion Roach is a natural redhead.

In her 2006 book, The Roots Of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Powers Of Red hair, she examines the legends that have surrounded Redheads throughout the centuries. Going back through history, she starts with the ancient figures of Lillith from the Hebrew Bible and Set from Egyptian myth. Moving through time, she visits the myth that Mary Magdalene and Judas were redheads. Ms. Roach also delves into the science and genetics that determines why some people are born with red hair. While completing her research on modern redheads, Ms. Roach spends time in a “witch camp” and a high end hair salon in New York City.

There are many myths about redheads. Like any myth, after a certain amount of time, the line between fact and fiction often becomes blurry. Ms. Roach’s approach to the book is an intellectual one, but it is not so intellectual that the reader feels like they are reading a college textbook. Written in a down to earth, informative style, this book is an easy to read, appealing style that quickly hooks the reader. One of my favorite attributes of the book, was Ms. Roach’s family history. Her paternal grandmother was a redhead, as was her father.

Like Ms. Roach, I am a natural redhead. I have red hair on both sides of my family tree. As an avid reader and a redhead, I enjoyed this book. I recommend it, not just for redheads, but for book lovers who enjoy a good book.

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