The Henna Artist – Book Review

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi


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.

Genre: Historical Fiction

This book is a historical fiction novel which I don’t normal read. This was the third book we read in my book club. The thing about book club is that we can go out of our comfort zone and read things you wouldn’t normally read. This book was beautifully written, the author did a wonderful job. The book took me to a place I’ve never been to, Jaipur, and it felt like I was there. The story was interesting and all the characters were well developed but I found the main character Lakshmi really annoying. I think it was because she cared so much about what her wealthy clients thought of her instead of taking care of her family. Thankfully the story evolved and eventually I was able to tolerate her and be happy about the choices that she was making.

I rated this book three stars because while it was good I didn’t find the story very captivating. During our book club meeting about the book, I found out that this is the first book in a series. The other books aren’t out yet but it makes much more sense now and this new fact made me appreciate the book even more. I do recommend it though and I cannot wait to read the second book!

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