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The Henna Artist
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Escaping from an arranged and abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone from her 1950s rural village to the vibrant pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the henna artist--and confidante--most in demand 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. 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.
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wen4blu
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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“Her feet step lightly on the hard earth, calloused souls insensible to the tiny pebbles and caked mud along the riverbank.”

#firstlinefridays
#currentlyreading

@ShyBookOwl

35 likes1 stack add
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LitsyEvents
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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repost for @Catsandbooks, @Texreader, @Butterfinger,

The final 3 books of #FoodandLit Buddy Reads for 2022!

This is a casual read-at-your-own-pace buddy read. Anyone is welcome to join! Please let me know if you would like to be tagged in the check-in posts.

How are we entering the last quarter of the year?!?!
Have you liked having buddy reads this year? Do you want #FoodandLit buddy reads to continue in 2023?

42 likes1 comment
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Yahui07
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Mehso-so

A good story however predicable. A book between pick and soso (more toward soso)😉

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katy4peas
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

Wow. This one pulled me in and I loved the narration! The Indian culture in 1950s is so interesting, and I loved learning about the symbolism behind the henna designs. So weird how timely some of the topics are. I can‘t believe we have gone back that far in modern society. However, learning about it in this setting was eye-opening. I loved most of the characters and will definitely continue on with the next book or two in the series. #India

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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

#blameitonlitsy This was a great read.

91 likes1 stack add
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Mshookquilts
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

Another excellent read! I really didn‘t like her selfish, sneaky, even mean, little sister, though she grew on me at the end. Lakshmi watches her life be destroyed for the 2nd time through happenings beyond her control. Yet she stays strong trying to figure out what is next even as she grieves her bad circumstances.

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BookishBelle
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

Finished this one on #Audio today. #AudioCommute
It was very good!

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eanderson
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

So beautiful… seriously loved this book! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🥹 All the stars!

40 likes1 stack add
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WriterAtHeart
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

What a beautiful story about a women who built up her life only to have to do it all over again. This is a story of life, family, perseverance, and growth. Lakshmi was an interesting protagonist and I enjoyed her growth throughout the story.

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SanjanaGhosh
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

❤️

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DivineDiana
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

I found this book fascinating! My lovely ESL student is a henna artist, and we often discuss her art. She started a small henna business. Reading this book gave me an understanding of the cultural significance and intricacies of the Art. The main character,Lakshmi,is a strong woman who struggles to be independent and care for her younger sister. Life in 1950‘s Jaipur comes alive in this book! #booked2022 #includesarecipe

BarbaraTheBibliophage I liked this one also. Haven‘t read the second book yet, though. 6mo
DivineDiana @BarbaraTheBibliophage My student is still reading this one, and then we will discuss. We are planning to continue with the next one! 6mo
Cinfhen I LOVED this book too!! But I couldn‘t get into the sequel 🤷🏼‍♀️ 6mo
See All 10 Comments
Cinfhen So cool about your ESL student!! I‘d love to do a henna design next time I‘m in Philly 😍💕 6mo
BookBabe Pretty design in the picture! 6mo
DivineDiana @Cinfhen That can be arranged! ❤️ 6mo
DivineDiana @BookBabe The designs have so much meaning, and can be very intricate. ❤️ 6mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen @DivineDiana Litsy Henna Meetup!! I‘m in! 6mo
Cinfhen That would be AWESOME @BarbaraTheBibliophage @DivineDiana 🥳 6mo
54 likes10 comments
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Evita
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Pickpick

4 out of 5

1 like1 stack add
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eanderson
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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New audiobook while playing trains with Matty! 😋 Happy Tuesday!

Cinfhen I really loved this story and the narration was fabulous!! Enjoy 😊 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💙💙💙 6mo
BarbaraBB So cute! 6mo
42 likes3 comments
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DivineDiana
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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I am an ESL tutor for a lovely Indian woman who also is a henna artist! As part of our lessons, we read and discuss books. In the past, I have chosen middle grade chapter books. When I saw this book, I asked her if she wanted the challenge to leap to an adult book. The answer was a resounding yes! She is loving it!

Kimzey What a happy pursuit! I hope you both enjoy it. Keep us posted. 6mo
DivineDiana @Kimzey My student is loving it! She can relate to the characters, and told me that once she finishes, she wants to read again! There is a section in the back of the book that explains Hindi terms, but she is enjoying teaching me about customs and geography. Win-Win. I will! ❤️ 6mo
BiblioLitten How lovely 🥰 6mo
71 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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MallenNC
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

This was my #BookSpin for February. I am glad I finally read it after having it on my shelf forever. I thought it was interesting and I care enough about the characters to read the sequel. The sister character got on my nerves so much, until I remembered that she was only 13.

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Cathyloves2read
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Pickpick

I really liked this story.I enjoyed learning about the Indian culture. It is so very different than the way I was brought up. The history of Henna Intrigued me.Reading about the caste system was also very interesting.Although I didn‘t agree with everything that the protagonist did, I grew to like her character. I found the glossary of terms at the end of the book to be very useful, and I referred to it a lot! All in all, this was a very good book.

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sarahfisch
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

An incredibly clever read! I loved it from start to finish.

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IndoorDame
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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marleed A friend of mine was married last year wrapped inside all this beautiful tradition. Over the course of a couple weeks she would post a single pic and explain the tradition. Did you know that wrapped inside these henna‘d hands will somewhere be spelled the name of the husband. Priya‘s husband Joe‘s was ‘tattooed‘ in the tiny ribbons of ink on the inside of her hand. I couldn‘t see it until the hints were made very clear to me! So cool! 8mo
IndoorDame @marleed neat! I had no idea people wrote their husbands names in the designs. 8mo
CaitlinDBurnside Love Henna Tattoos. Had one in the late 70s of a Celtic Triquetra which lasted for nearly 13 weeks. Done at a Fair by a Romani Gypsy. It was incredible how it lasted so long🤣🤣🤣. I love the Indian ones they're so intricate and delicate. I suffer from needle phobia so best alternative 🙃👍 8mo
marleed @CaitlinDBurnside that‘s so cool. I love seeing the women in a wedding party and all their painted hands. It has to me a memory made for a lifetime! (edited) 8mo
57 likes4 comments
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IndoorDame
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

I got completely swept up in this story and read it in one day. All of the characters are vividly drawn, and while all of them have faults that are constantly on display, you feel their inherent goodness so keenly that it‘s easy to forgive them almost anything. The main story is set in 1956 and offers a startlingly intimate portrayal of India just post independence.

IndoorDame

#NewYearWhoDis @jen_the_scribe Thank you for the recommendation! This one definitely spoke to me. @monalyisha
8mo
jen_the_scribe @IndoorDame So glad this one spoke to you! 8mo
62 likes2 comments
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Yonkinl
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Pickpick

Great

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IMASLOWREADER
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Andrew65 A popular book. 9mo
IMASLOWREADER its the book of the month at my library book club :) 9mo
13 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Clwojick
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

Another brilliant read during #Jumpstart2022 and a great pairing for #AestheticallyMatched. 💖

Lizpixie Nice job. I‘ve always wanted to get my hands done👐 9mo
Ddzmini Love the picture of her hands beautiful 😍 9mo
81 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Rachiiebookdragon
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Pickpick

An interesting book 😊 Read for the #PopSugarReadingChallenge2021 3.75/5

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rachelm
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Did my annual random item/book recommendation book pairing, this time with a drink and vibe by request. I decided to do my book wrap for the year a little early since the upcoming weeks look so busy 😅

https://rachelmansmckenny.substack.com/p/the-one-with-all-the-books

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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed this book. As a historical fictional book, I found it to be an "easy", yet still intriguing book.
I found the history about India fascinating and appreciated the research that was done by the author.

33 likes1 stack add
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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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This book has been on my list far too long

nichollinlove It's a good one! 10mo
Yoricke_SouthAfrica @nichollinlove I'm really looking forward to it. 10mo
27 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Roxanareads
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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September reads

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Roxanareads
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Current audio

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vonnie862
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Not too bad. I read an average of 40 minutes every day (my goal was 30).
I finished The Secret of Seaside and got halfway through the Henna Artist.
I also started reading A Discovery of Witches & I am re-reading Phantom of the Opera.

😄
#SuperSeptember #readathon
@Andrew65 @EadieB

EadieB Great 👍 job! Thanks for participating! 12mo
vonnie862 @EadieB Thanks! 12mo
EadieB @vonnie862 You‘re welcome! 12mo
25 likes1 stack add3 comments
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GinaKButler
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Up next on audio...🎧
#bookspinbingo

12 likes2 stack adds
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vonnie862
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Day 1 of #SuperSeptember #readathon
•Started The Henna Artist and listened for 1 hour.
•Continued The Secret of Seaside. Read 1 chapter.
Goal to read for at least 30 minutes: ✔
@EadieB @Andrew65

EadieB @Vonnie862 Day 1 - made your goal! Good job! Enjoy your reading! 12mo
18 likes1 comment
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Mommamanzi
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi

One of my favorite books I have read in 2021!

36 likes1 stack add
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Jaimelire
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Pickpick

Wow! This was such a great book. I loved the setting, the time period and the amazing characters. I will be reading the sequel, for sure.

Mommamanzi I absolutely loved it! 13mo
16 likes1 comment
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Kshakal
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Eggs 📚👏🏻 🌍 13mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️📚👏🏻 13mo
Mommamanzi I looooooveed this book! 13mo
See All 6 Comments
Kshakal @Mommamanzi me too!! I can‘t wait to read the next one!! 13mo
Mommamanzi @Kshakal do you know if it‘s a series? Or will it be just the two books? 13mo
Kshakal @Mommamanzi I think it is going to be a trilogy 13mo
28 likes6 comments
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JackieGreco
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Pickpick

I loved this story of a woman who thinks she has it figured out until her younger sister finds her and turns her life upside-down. This beautiful novel is set in India and feels authentic and heartfelt. I would recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction.

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Kshakal
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

This was a beautiful novel of women and what it takes to survive in a very cruel world!

33 likes1 stack add
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Abibliophobia
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
Pickpick

Great!

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FeatherV
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

This is one of my favorite novels. Opening its pages again was like returning to an old friend. Lakshmi's life is turned upside down when her 13 year old orphaned sister joins her in Jaipur. Suddenly the life she has built for herself begins to crumble and she must decide what is truly important.

For my full thoughts see: https://heartandsoulbooks.blogspot.com/2021/06/realizing-book-is-favorite.html

Shamzi This book is just WOW!!! 1y
FeatherV @Shamzi it really is! 1y
Shamzi @FeatherV Also please try this tagged book. Very different story but still about women and empowerment and togetherness. It's just as good and so steamy!!! 1y
17 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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SoManyBooksNotEnoughTime
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

"??????? ??? ?????????--??? ?????--?? ?'? ????? ??? ??? ???? ???. ?? ????. ?? ????. ?? ??????? ??? ???? ??? ???????, ??? ??? ???? ??? ??????."⁣

I love reading books about cultures & time periods different than my own as I learn so much about the world. I really grew to care for Lakshmi, rooting for her through the highs & lows of her story.

51 likes1 stack add
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Bookwormjillk
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

This was a pleasant audiobook set in 1950‘s India. Likable characters with a pleasing ending. I enjoyed it. #ReadingAsia2021

Librarybelle This is on my to read list! 1y
58 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Mccall0113
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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I‘ve been listing to a lot of audio books lately. I can‘t seem to focus on the printed page. I‘m enjoying this one and the narration is very soothing.

WorldsOkayestStepMom I loved this one on audio! 1y
LatrelWhite 🎧Audio was great!☺️ 1y
71 likes2 comments
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Scochrane26
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

I read this for book club, although I would have gotten around to it eventually based on reviews. I really liked it & would recommend it to others, but it wasn‘t a book that I couldn‘t put down. I‘m not sure why, the story is good, characters are interesting. The second half pulled me in emotionally more than the first. Enjoyed the education about India, including the glossary of words & characters.

25 likes1 stack add
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WorldsOkayestStepMom
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

Such a beautiful story! I loved this book and will be reading more of Joshi's work! I highly recommend the audiobook version of this too!

56 likes1 stack add
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thevagabondlawyer
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

Finished reading this book tonight and I enjoyed it! A pretty common premise: a woman from a small village who went to the city and endured so much, the highs and lows, the ups and downs, in life. But what fascinated me was the strong Indian culture, tradition, and gastronomy, depicted in this book from henna-making to 👇

thevagabondlawyer the ubiquity of the caste system and to such cravings of rabri (a creamy, rich and wholesome dessert), and batti ball (an authentic Rajastani meal) of the pink city of Jaipur. I would love to visit India someday! 👏 1y
56 likes1 comment
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Butterfinger
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

I hope Alka Joshi continues to write. Learning about the culture of Jaipur in the 50s, through the eyes of an independent woman after India gains its own independence, was fascinating. Lakshmi is my type of heroine. I loved learning about the herbal treatments for depression and other problems. #ReadingAsia2021 @BarbaraBB @Librarybelle #India #BBRC @LibrarianRyan @Sarahreadstoomuch

mdm139 She has another book coming out in June. The secret Keeper of Jaipur 1y
Butterfinger @mdm139 thanks for letting me know. That cover is gorgeous. I cannot wait. 1y
Librarybelle Great review! 1y
50 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Shamzi
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Success was ephemeral!!!!

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jen_the_scribe
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Pickpick

Finally finished this listen. It took me forever as I haven't been listening to audiobooks much since the pandemic started. But this one was lovely. I loved how everything wrapped up, not without a lot of heartbreak/betrayals, but with a sense of closure for the characters. The main characters were likable. The story flowed well. When I took long breaks in between listens, I was able to easily pick up where I left off without any confusion.

Scochrane26 I‘ll be reading this in April for a book club. 1y
jen_the_scribe @Scochrane26 Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 1y
22 likes2 comments
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Shamzi
The Henna Artist | Alka Joshi
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Next up is a book set in 1950s Jaipur, India. Story of a women who ran away from an abusive relationship and became famous for her henna designs!!!