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The Henna Artist

Author : Alka Joshi

Genre : Fiction

This richly detailed story is set in India just after India won independence from England. The complicated caste system continues. At age seventeen, Lakshmi escapes from an arranged and abusive marriage and 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 confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Caring for her sister turns her life upside down. Still she perseveres and find a different vocation, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

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