The Henna Artist

Front Cover
Harper Collins Publ. USA, Mar 3, 2020 - 384 pages
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

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookchickdi - LibraryThing

Lakshmi fled an abusive arranged marriage, leaving behind her husband and parents to go to the city of Jaipur, following the recent independence of India from the British Empire. She is a henna artist ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BettyTaylor56 - LibraryThing

Beautifully written, I found myself immersed into the life of henna artist Lakshimi Shastri. I felt her struggle and determination to escape the life she was born into. Married to a husband who beat ... Read full review

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About the author (2020)

Alka Joshi was born in India and raised in the U.S. since the age of nine. She has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of Arts and runs an advertising and marketing agency. She has lived in France and Italy and currently lives in Pacific Grove, California, with her husband. The Henna Artist is her first novel.

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