FREE The Henna Artist By Alka Joshi
Heir way in what was a patriarchal world always make me realize the progress we have made in the direction of euality Granted there is still a ong road to travel but we will get there At any rate this story s setting is in India in the 1950s right after the Raj has given up main control of the country We meet a wonderfully endearing woman who is strong and resilient Lakshmi was seventeen when she eft her village determined to escape from an abusive husband and make her way in the world She is goal oriented success and money drive her forward She with the help of influential and wealthy Indian man build a career that brings her into the homes and the confidences of the entitled and rich women of India She earns their secrets but holds her own close to her heartThen as ife seems to be turning in her favor her husband reappears bearing a young girl who is Lakshami s young sister a sister she never knew of Times change for Lakshami as she earns that being a sister to a young teenager is both challenging and a rebirth of sorts As ife intervenes in Lakshami s dream she begins a journey that awakens her to the true meaning of a ife well Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda leadWonderfully told with the beautiful culture sights and smells of India this story is easy to read and its allure is in telling a story that says that no matter which wayife turns it can bring you to a place where you will find the happiness you have been seeking all along Incidentally at the end Ms Joshi tells the reader of the way that henna is made as well as including some recipes for dishes she spoke of in the story 35 starsThis novel is set in mid 1950s India a few years after the sub continent gained its independence from Great Britain The main character Lakshmi Shastri is a twentysomething woman who fled from her arranged marriage thirteen years agoLakshsmi recalls I could no onger endure my husband s beatings the wounds that made me bleed the words that cut me open the mornings I could barely get up off the floor And all for what For the child I couldn t give him Before Lakshsmi eft her beloved Saas mother in aw taught her how to use spices herbs plants potions and teas as well as specially prepared foods to heal wounds treat illnesses essen anxiety induce relaxation aid in conception prevent conception induce abortion and so on During Lakshmi s subseuent travels she If My Love Were a Fire Truck: A Daddy's Love Song learned to be a henna artist as well and was eventually invited to the city of Jaipur by a rich businessman named Samir Samir s sponsorship helped Lakshmi become the henna artist for high caste women in Jaipur including his wife Parvati Lakshmi brings her supplies as well as homemade treats when she visits heradies and is credited with helping Parvati conceive her second son Lakshmi s sponsor Samir also functions as a sort of business partner introducing her to clients who need her help to get pregnant grow their hair Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-The-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford lighten their skin etc In fact Samir himself is a client purchasing sachets that prevent his mistresses from conceiving children Lakshmi has worked very hard for the past decade and used her earnings to build her dream house bit by bit The home is almost complete now and Lakshmiooks forward to moving in and planting a arge "Garden With Medicinal Plants And "with medicinal plants and Ever since Lakshmi eft her village she has Cyberselfish A Critical Romp Through The Terribly Libertarian Culture Of High Tech longed to see her parents who in accordance with Indian culture would have been shamed and ostracized by her behavior Lakshmi regularly wrote her parents and sent money but they never responded Now that Lakshmi s house is almost complete she sent cash for train ticketsso her parents could join her in JaipurInstead of Lakshmi s parents her estranged husband Hari shows up with a thirteen year old girl called RadhaRadha says she s Lakshmi s sister born after sheeft and that their parents are dead Lakshmi takes Radha under
#her wing and immediately starts to convert the village girl into a city #wing and immediately starts to convert the village girl into a city who dresses and behaves in a sophisticated manner Lakshmi also starts teaching Radha about natural medicines and arranges for Radha to go to school when the semester starts I don t want to say because of spoilers but I think it s fair to say that Radha being a strong willed hormonal adolescent getting her first taste of freedom causes her share of trouble There s uite a bit of drama as the story unfolds and a wide array of secondary characters Most of the Indian men in this book don t come off too well We meet an alcoholic a wife beater a disgusting A coerência textual lecher a ruthless builder an entitled youth a flagrant philanderer and Some of the women also behave badly but from their point of view it s mostly self protection Indian women in the 1950s ateast were relatively powerless and had to maneuver as best they could to protect themselves their families and their position in society Two of my favorite characters are Dr Kumar who wants to add natural remedies to his medical practice and Malik a clever hard working 8 year old boy who makes himself Lakshmi s assistantMalik calls Lakshmi Auntie Boss and skillfully maneuvers and manipulates who makes himself Lakshmi s assistantMalik calls Lakshmi Auntie Boss and skillfully maneuvers and manipulates a good way to help himself and his employer With an education Malik could probably be Prime Minister of IndiaTo me the information Alka Joshi includes about Indian customs dress food marriages ceremonies castes etc is fascinating Cerebrations that reuire women to be painted with henna include things Write Your Novel!: Tips from a Bestseller like marriage pregnancy birth baby naming baby s first solid food visits to a temple moving into a new house death funerals etc This provides plenty of work for henna artists especially talented ones with original designs The author also touches on castes in India and Iearned that high caste people aren t supposed to do jobs that reuire touching people s heads or feet and high caste contractors can t built bathrooms because of the unclean association Brahmin weddingThe author doesn t say too much about Dogs Behaving Badly lower castes which aren t the focus of the book I enjoyed the novel my major uibbles being that the plot is somewhat predictable and the book has too much of a fairy tale vibe Still this is a good debut novel highly recommended You can follow my reviews at. Ntife she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband who has tracked her down these many years First Year Teacher: Wit and Wisdom from Teachers Who've Been There 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 andifting up those that surround her as she doe. ,
READ The Henna ArtistBles it felt ike the book hit on every point briefly just April 16th: Virginia Tech Remembers long enough to explain the issue without giving time to explore it I think part of that was because of how fast paced the book was It covers a whole year in just under 350 pages and there aren t anyarge time jumps It just sort of skims the trials and tribulations of their ives We don t actually get to see any of the characters development the easiest example being Radha Lakshmi s younger sister She shows up in the beginning as a village girl who s never eft home but at some point becomes confident in the city and rebellious against her sister When did this happen I have no idea We didn t get to see any growth or change apart from Lakshmi giving her a Mindful Living with Aspergers Syndrome list of instructions on how to actI didn t dislike this book but I really did find myself struggling to care I felt so distant from these characters and theirives Nothing about this book hit me emotionally Even when things got difficult for these characters as they nearly always do it felt almost clinicalOverall interesting story in theory and there was enough I enjoyed about the culture of the time to make it worthwhile but it s not a book I l be excitedly pushing on others If it sounds interesting to you I d recommend picking it up but I didn t think it was anything spectacular 4 transport me to India starsThis one completely absorbed me and took me to 1950s India with rich and colorful descriptions of the sights and sounds We meet Lakshmi the Henna Artist of Jaipur She s built an amazing business for herself and is even having her dream house built She s sought after by all the adies in town and might even get an invitation to the royal palace She has an herbal medicine business on the side as well This was a fascinating side story as most of these herbs were very effectiveHer ife is about to change when her younger sister shows up a sister she didn t even know existed Lakshmi fled an abusive husband years ago She didn t realize the devastation she eft behind for her parents and sister Her sister Radha has a Space Kid lot toearn about the world and how it works She must just undo all the hard work that Lakshmi has put into her businessThis one went in a different direction than I expected but 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 pregnant or arouse desire in our spouses The art of henna itself is far removed from my Circumstantial Evidence: Death, Life, and Justice in a Southern Town life That s not why I struggled with this book It s just that I have a feeling this book is written for that white woman who finds India exotic and swoons at its spirituality It s not written for the Indian audience who knows that India is also the nation of 10000 startups sleek bustling offices and technology than you can dream of Show me that book now coming from the US But it won t sell We have to show India with its drains of sewage the Maharanis and their glitteringifestyles and the prostitution No wonder the West aps it upI found the narrator Lakshmi Shastri a henna artist who reads Dickens and Jane Austen rather unbelievable Her explanations on what Indians do and don t do seem written for that white woman audience She has A Sister Who I Would sister who I would thrown out if it were me so annoying is she The one saving grace is that Lakshmi is a self made woman who eaves her husband sleeps with her client s husband then gets irritated when the client gets upset and is uite the nod to American individualism Overall I was annoyed with the book But don t take it as a rating for the book It s a reflection of my affair with the book When it comes to books I sleep around a Every Drop for Sale: Our Desperate Battle Over Water lot with them This affair didn tast well or Down We Go: Living Into the Wild Ways of Jesus longPros The prose flows Beautifully written and engrossing A uniue setting of post Independence India just finding its feet Alka Joshi brings 1950s India toife with her Reach for the Rainbow: Advanced Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse lush and vivid writing If you are someoneike me who enjoys Troubled Waters learning about other cultures and traveling to places you might never go this is a can t miss The interesting well drawn characters and the captivating storytelling completely drew me into this clever tale Sneha Mathan masterfully narrated this audiobook really bringing a voice and an additionalayer to this incredible story With a book ike this it is nice to have the audiobook because then you know how things are pronounced however you don t always know how things are spelled There is a PDF that accompanies the audiobook that includes a ist of the characters and a glossary This made me a ittle nervous that there needed to be a character ist but I have to say I never needed to refer to it I never was confused 1950s India 17 year old Lakshmi escapes her abusive marriage and heads to Jaipur In Jaipur Lakshmi establishes herself as a successful henna artist as well as a procurer of herbal remedies She has even realize her dream of owning her own home then her pass catches back up with her Her estranged husband shows up with her 13 year old sister Radha A sister she did not even know she had What ensues is a compelling tale of family tradition secrecy revenge and second chances Loved this book Lakshmi was such an easy character to get behind She was
#so strong so smart and so deserving Her sister Radha on the other hand really frustrated me I had to #strong so smart and so deserving Her sister Radha on the other hand really frustrated me I had to myself that she was just a teenager at times There were many other extremely well drawn secondary characters some who I oved and some who I did not I also found the herbal medicine in this book super fascinating and I iked how they combined it with traditional medicine in the story This is one of those books that gives you a ot to think about Filled with colorful characters and beautifully told this is a story that I will not soon forgetThis book in emojis Big thank you to Harleuin Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book All opinions are my own I am starting to think that the best way for me to enjoy a book is to go into it somewhat blind for that is exactly what I did with this bookBooks that show how women of an earlier time made Becomes the most highly reuested 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 ownKnown for her original designs and sage advice Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her ivelihood As she pursues her dream of an independe. I ove 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 woman for ceremonial occasions This book is set in 1950s India and introduced me to Lakshmi who was a henna artist Lakshmi had been forced to marry when she was 15 Her mother in Bon Bon Voyage (A Carolyn Blue Culinary Mystery, law was a healer and she taught Lakshmi about folk cures and the properties of various herbs After Lakshmieft her husband she established herself as a henna artist for wealthy women The job included much than painting she was also part therapistpart masseuse and she provided herbal remedies including one that caused abortions She was an independent woman who managed to save enough money to build her own house until her younger sister appeared on her doorstep and changed both of their Bon Bon Voyage lives The details of theives of these women and the societal restrictions that they faced were fascinating The writing was very clear and contained I was pleased to find that it did not have an obligatory romance This is the author s first book and I d be happy to read her next one 45 stars I m not sure what I could possibly add to the already wonderful reviews by Alka Joshi s debut novelI purchased the ebook back in early March before the pandemic ockdown having no idea that it was a Reese Witherspoon Sunshine Book Club Pick Life and other books got in the way as many readers understand too well tooA sweet birdie from India gently reminded me to read The Henna Artist for goodness sake it s time already and I didI was in India for almost a full year in the 1974but this story takes place in the ate 1940 s and 1950 s in Jaipur also known as Pink Citythe capital and argest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan a vibrant citya great place to shop for jewelry fabrics handicrafts body oils creams spices herbs and other vibrant delightful divines Author Alka Joshias many before me have saidtakes us on an alluring full of ife passionate spirited What a great debutThis was very entertainingI ove entering a different culture India is fascinating as is disturbing all that poverty violence against women and caste system did you know that there are over 3k castes and 25k subcastes in India these topics are just highlighted in this bookAlthough the writing is very simple I was engaged from the very beginning and I was transported to the era and culture The storyline was absorbing and well developedstructuredThe only reason I m not giving it 5 stars is because I may have said exactly the same on previous reviews I don t ike convenient coincidences as it makes the world feels very small and predictable But predictable or not I A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency loved the conclusion I don t get the opportunity to travel much any 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 setting and what first caught my interest about this one is it takes place in the 1950s The author did a phenomenal job in making me feelike I was transported to this time and country and the main character Lakshmi is someone worth getting to know in my opinion Very glad I got the chance to read this oneAt the age of seventeen Lakshmi escaped her abusive marriage and headed to the city of Jaipur She s worked hard as a henna artist for uite a few years She s developed uite the reputation among her wealthy clients with her artistry and has managed to scrimp and save enough money to own a home Work still needs to be completed on the house and that means Lakshmi must keep on working to pay off her debts Her husband tracks Lakshmi down and brings with him uite the surprise Radha a thirteen year old girl who is the sister Lakshmi never knew she had The new and better ife Lakshmi worked so hard for threatens to come crashing down with this new developmentFirst of all I admit I was a bit worried when I started the book and saw there was a section for the cast of characters Usually that indicates there are going to be so many characters it can be confusing to the reader and therefore you need a cheat sheet However other than a few names here and there I didn t
even find myself flipping back and forth as it was pretty easy to keep everyone straight in my mind Onfind myself flipping back and forth as it was pretty easy to keep everyone straight in my mind On related note the glossary of terms in the back for different Indian words and phrases was pretty helpful Within the story italics were used for the different words that appeared in the glossary Lakshmi is one of the stronger female characters I have come across in my reading recently I thought she was a character who was very easy to root for and I felt bad when it seemed ike so many things beyond her control were causing problems in her Ravishing Ruby life I thought Lakshmi s non henna work enhanced an already rich andayered story There s so much here for a book club discussion as you have such things as the social classes in India differences in Western medicine and herbal remedies women s roles in in 1950s India etc I really hope this book finds a arge audience as I found it to be a worthwhile read I won a free advance copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review All views expressed are my honest opinion This whole book felt a ittle surface evel 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 ives I always wanted from the story and it felt Old Yeller liked it only scratched the surface of the emotions it could have hadMy favorite part of the story was Lakshmi s job her role as Henna artist and abortionist and how she helped people Ioved seeing the insight into the Flying by the Seat of My Pants: Flight Attendant Adventures on a Wing and a Prayer lives of the rich and how her Henna helped them as well as the poor and desperate and the different remedies she had It was a fascinatingook at Indian society in the 50s and the relationship between her and her clients was very well doneBut the story seemed Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography like it drifted away from that uite a bit Instead of delving deeply into Lakshmi s career her relationships or her younger sister s trou. 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 onceush and fascinating stark and cruelEscaping from an abusive marriage seventeen year old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur There she.