The Henna Artist
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER
A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK
"Captivated me from the first chapter to the final page."—Reese Witherspoon
Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.
Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…
Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.
“Eloquent and moving…Joshi masterfully balances a yearning for self-discovery with the need for familial love.”—Publishers Weekly
Look for The Secret Keeper of Jaipur and The Perfumist of Paris from New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What if, with the flick of a brush, you could paint yourself out of all your pain and unhappiness and into a brand new life? Fleeing an abusive marriage in 1950s India, teenager Lakshmi heads for the vibrant city of Jaipur. Soon, her artistic talents make her the city’s most sought-after henna painter, hired to adorn the hands and bodies of rich, powerful women. Alka Joshi’s gorgeous debut novel uses one woman’s compelling story to explore a nation in the middle of earthshaking transitions. It’s beautifully narrated by voice actress Sneha Mathan, who invites us to sink into Joshi’s lush, evocative prose. We were so absorbed in Lakshmi’s journey that we didn’t even realize how much we were learning about India’s complicated history and about colonialism, social upheaval, and the caste system. The Henna Artist is a full sensory experience that transports the listener to another time and place.
This was such an interesting book. The subject I knew nothing about was so informative. The reader lulling voice was warm and gentle.
This story made me re-examine things I thought I knew to consider from a different perspective. I highly recommend this book.
The Henna Artist
Fun great story takes you away .. wonderful reader
Beautiful story beautifully narrated.