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Philippine-born Vancouverite Sophia is most grateful for two things: her modest hair salon and Adrian, her mild-mannered fiancé. She is eager to get married, move away from her highly educated but career-frustrated parents, who believe that their daughter can be so much more than a beautician.

Then Sophia’s estranged friend reaches out from Manila, desperate for help. After a dubious accident, her fiery Auntie Rosy is on the verge of losing the Cine Star Salon—the place where Sophia first felt the call to become a hairstylist and salon owner. Coming to her auntie’s aid is not so easy though. Sophia worries helping might reopen old wounds and threaten the bright future she has planned.

Leah Ranada’s debut novel is a graphic and engaging depiction of the importance of women’s work and the loyalties that connect friends across oceans. The Cine Star Salon marks the entry of a vital new voice in Canadian literature.

Gold Medal Winner

2022 Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Award

Multicultural Fiction Category

“From Vancouver to Manila, with a cast of vibrant characters, Sophia’s story pulled me in close—an intimate behind the scenes look at the beauty salon and working women. This is also a tale of immigration, and family drama; the ones we are born into and the ones we create. Wry and clear-eyed this powerful debut by Leah Ranada is an important new work in the literary scene.”

~ Hiromi Goto, author of Shadow Life and Chorus of Mushrooms

“A stunning debut. Ranada’s writing crackles with energy and humour. Memorable characters and a clever, tender-hearted prose examines the stigma of “women’s work,” The Cine Star Salon will speak across generations, so tell your mother and your sister and your sister’s friends.”

-Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings

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