Ben Keller knows most of the secrets and sins of the people of Omaha, Nebraska. Growing up in the seventies as a not-quite-Catholic kid in the very Catholic city, Ben Keller bookmarks his world through the music of Sting, the wisdom of Warren Buffett, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
His neighbors and family anchor him in—what he had thought was—a normal childhood, laced with a suspected boy-stealer, a creepy creek, and a neighborhood witch. After years of helping his single-mother in her basement salon, Ben stumbles into owning his own shop, the Vanity Insanity, a salon with amazingly strange people who had actually made the choice to do hair.
The accidental hair stylist finds himself privy to the dreams and dark secrets of those who are making regular appointments to sit in his safe chair. As their lives cross and their hairstyles change over the years, Ben slowly starts to accept that his lot in life must be to carry everyone’s sins and burdens so they can feel better about themselves.
Ben laughs at the crazy people, makes fun of the city in which he grew up, and calls out the mistakes of the Catholic Church, while at the same time elevating the goodness of all three.
Death, a fire, a call from the wacky girlfriend of the father who had abandoned him thirty-five years earlier, and the quiet and gradual intertwining of a few special clients force Ben to slowly peel away at the intense denial of his dreams and his feelings regarding infidelity, forgiveness, and the existence of God.