The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
A NEW NOVEL BY THE AUTHOR OF THE HENNA ARTIST, A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK
"Captivated me from the first chapter to the last page." —Reese Witherspoon on The Henna Artist
Featured in Good Morning America’s “27 Books for June"
PopSugar’s Best Summer Reads of 2021
In New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi’s intriguing new novel, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace in this tale rich in character, atmosphere, and lavish storytelling.
It’s the spring of 1969, and Lakshmi, now married to Dr. Jay Kumar, directs the Healing Garden in Shimla. Malik has finished his private school education. At twenty, he has just met a young woman named Nimmi when he leaves to apprentice at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. Their latest project: a state-of-the-art cinema.
Malik soon finds that not much has changed as he navigates the Pink City of his childhood. Power and money still move seamlessly among the wealthy class, and favors flow from Jaipur’s Royal Palace, but only if certain secrets remain buried. When the cinema’s balcony tragically collapses on opening night, blame is placed where it is convenient. But Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a former street child, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it’s a lesson that will serve him as he untangles a web of lies.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Listening to this gorgeous, vibrant book is like winning a trip to India’s Pink City, with its narrow streets, vibrant markets, and grand palaces. Set in 1969, the sequel to The Henna Artist follows 20-year-old Malik, an apprentice learning the building trade at the Jaipur Palace thanks to his mentor Lakshmi—the heroine of the previous book. When tragedy strikes during Malik’s first project, it forces him into a mystery that could have serious repercussions for the wealthiest and most powerful forces controlling the city. Alka Joshi’s evocative language is a sensual delight that’s almost tactile, especially when Malik’s adventure links up with a fascinating second storyline dealing with the indigenous cultures of the Himalayas. And narrators Sneha Mathan, Ariyan Kassam, and Deepa Samuel bring the story to vivid life. We couldn’t wait to see how Malik’s journey ended, even though we had no desire to leave behind Joshi’s gorgeous depiction of India.
Sequels can often be such a let down and because I loved the first book, I had high hopes for the continuation of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing where everyone is 12 years later. Radha is mostly left out since this story focuses on Lakshmi & Malik so it’s a completely different story rather than solely a continuation of The Henna Artist. I loved it and would highly recommend!
Not as good as the first book
It was ok, not as good as the first book