The Henna Artist – Book Review

The Henna Artist is Alka Joshi‘s debut novel that was published in early 2020. It instantly became a NY best seller, a Reese Witherspoon book club pick and currently being developed into a TV series. Furthermore, it was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

Why may The Henna Artist be worth your time?

The Henna Artist is a captivating, engrossing and beautifully written historical fiction set in India in the 1950s.

The story follows Lakshmi, a strong-willed and decisive young woman who ran away from her marriage and family to the pink city Jaipur to become the talk of the town henna artist, herbalist and confidante for the elite circle of Jaipur ladies. Lakshmi’s talent, together with her determination and focus, rewarded her with the security, freedom and independence she strived for. A major life event takes place in Lakshmi’s personal life that forces on her new circumstances requiring tough decisions. Later on, we realize that this turning point was actually the catalyst for Lakshmi to reevaluate her priorities, free herself from the limitation of attachments and become closer to her true self and her real purpose.

Shedding light on social issues

This is a story abouy struggle, freedom, women’s choices, prostitution, abortion, ethical codes, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, perseverance, resilience, self-worth and forgiveness. It is a story about womanhood.

The Henna Artist is a compelling story with vivid rich descriptions that has the power of transporting the reader to that era written in a way that triggers all senses to truly enable the reader to picture the events and feel with the characters. The book is packed with cultural details such as henna art, natural and herbal medicine, Indian cuisine and family customs and traditions.


I truly enjoyed reading this novel and it made me think a lot more about my roots. Moreover, I am eagerly looking forward to reading the recently published sequel ‘The Secret Keeper of Jaipur’.

Comment down below your review of the book or suggestions for my next read!

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