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What Shibani’s Reading: Henna Artist, by Alka Joshi

Looking for a perfect summer, escapist read? Grab your copy of Alka Joshi’s (no relation!), The Henna Artist, and hit the beach.

The Henna Artist is a rich, detailed and beautiful story of a northern Indian woman searching for freedom and self acceptance in the post-partition world. This book, inspired by Joshi’s mother, uses beautiful character detail and a well-developed plot to take the reader on a literary adventure from wherever she sits. Exploring themes of modernization, motherhood and family tradition, the novel is historical fictional, well-researched and transports you into the world of bustling 1950s Jaipur.

A little more about it, from Warwick’s

“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.”

“Captivated me from the first chapter to the final page.”

Reese Witherspoon

Learn more about the author, Alka Joshi, here and consider purchasing the novel from a local bookstore here.

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