The Henna Artist - Alka Joshi

The Henna Artist

By Alka Joshi

  • Release Date: 2020-03-03
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 1,336 Ratings

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"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!


  • Ok read

    By Judystep
    Reading about Indian customs, food,traditions was very interesting. Story was good but predictable.
  • Enchanting

    By cimino33
    I ignored most of my life for 2 days as I read about the Henna Artist.. I am looking forward to the next book in the series,,
  • Great story: beautifully written.

    By Doodleman153
    I enjoyed reading this novel. Took me there and kept me interested.
  • Great

    By Rock'n'rani
    Excellent reading!
  • Colorful descriptions, good story

    By DonnaJSue
    The story of a single woman trying to make her way in a country where her gender and her place in society both constantly put roadblocks in her way is good and sometimes uplifting. I loved how the story was steeped in descriptions of dialect, clothing, food and how a person lived in that part of Asia in the 50’s. As I said, the story was a good one and relatable. The characters are believable and well rounded.
  • Good but not great

    By Katiep_90
    I appreciated the change of scenery this book gave me of being transported to the works of henna painting of wealthy Indian women. However, I found the book to be a bit monotonous and predictable in some ways, and the characters pretty one dimensional.
  • Fascinating!

    By MJW6506
    I’ve always been fascinated by Indian culture, and this book made the vibrant colors dance in my head, page after page after page. I look forward to more from this author!
  • Lovely story

    By lbster
    Not only interesting but educational Loved the characters and look forward to the next book.
  • 4/5 for predictability

    By sorryjune
    Captivating and enlightening into some of the Indian cultures and history. I found this book difficult to put down. However, I did rate a four and not a five due to the predictability of her solutions with the child and her choices with her life in the end.
  • Awesome read!

    By Tucker's walking partner
    I really enjoyed this book and all the colorful characters and especially the Indian culture. The book had lots of twists and turns of events and I loved it. This book was a first for me with this author. Very good!!