The Henna Artist (Hardcover)

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Lakshmi is the most highly requested henna artist in Jaipur, India. During her sessions, as she learns the secrets of the wealthy women she serves, Lakshmi becomes their confidante, and is seen as much more than a henna artist. Lakshmi becomes a healer of everything feminine, providing contraceptive teas, mystical conception potions and even abortion sages; whatever is needed to help Indian women fulfill their desires. This intriguing story, full of Indian culture, takes place in 1955, only several years after the caste system was outlawed by rule, but in reality very much alive! 


— From Jaunty June Staff Picks

Ready to be transported to the magical pink city Jaipur in the 1950's.  This book will take you there and into a world of wealth, poverty, class, and sexism.  Lakshmi at just 17 years old escapes an abusive marriage and runs to Jaipur where she reinvents herself and becomes quite successful.  The themes in this book may sound dark and intense but the story is so uplifting that those topics become interesting obstacles not devastation.  Pregnancy, abortion, eastern old medicine vs new western medicine, domestic violence, classism all set in 1950's India!  So well done.  Jaipur is definitely on my bucket list now!
Available in Audio and Ebook

— From Jubilant July Staff Picks




"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 from New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi
Product Details
ISBN: 9780778309451
ISBN-10: 0778309452
Publisher: Mira Books
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
Pages: 368
Language: English