The Henna Artist

The Henna Artist

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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.

Title:The Henna Artist
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780778310204
Format Type:

    The Henna Artist Reviews

  • Katie B

    I don't get the opportunity to travel much anymore so I kinda have to rely on books to take me to places I might not get the chance to ever visit. I've read a few fiction books with India as the setti...

  • jessica

    i really enjoyed this, but once i read the authors note at the end, it made the book that much more meaningful. this story is an imagining of the life AJs mother could have lived, had she not entered ...

  • Faith

    I love it when a book introduces me to something new and teaches me something. I had never given any thought to the people who create the elaborate henna drawings on the hands and feet of an Indian wo...

  • Alex Black

    This whole book felt a little surface level. As much as I was curious about the story and where it would go, I never cared about the characters or felt invested in their lives. I always wanted more fr...

  • Smitha Murthy

    I have done this again. Not really fallen for a book that everyone seems to be raving about. But see - I am from South India. We don’t really go around applying henna for fun, on occasions, to get p...

  • Berit???

    Alka Joshi brings 1950s India to life with her lush and vivid writing. If you are someone like me who enjoys learning about other cultures and traveling to places you might never go, this is a can’t...

  • Regina

    There’s a whole classification of books I think of as “flog fiction.” You know the type, where reading them feels like you’re beating yourself with a stick all in the name of “literature.”...

  • Elyse  Walters

    I’m not sure what I could possibly add to the already wonderful reviews by Alka Joshi’s debut novel.I purchased the ebook back in early March - before the pandemic lockdown - having no idea that i...

  • Jen

    I absolutely loved reading this book. I got completely immersed in Lakshmi's world and felt that Alka Joshi appealed to all of my senses through her lyrical smooth writing. Lakshmi was a strong female...

  • Brandice

    The Henna Artist follows Lakshmi, a 30 year old woman who fled her abusive marriage years ago to start over in Jaipur. She’s worked hard to become the most sought after henna artist there, with many...