In New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi’s intriguing new novel, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace in this tale rich in character, atmosphere, and lavish storytelling.
It’s the spring of 1969, and Lakshmi, now married to Dr. Jay Kumar, directs the Healing Garden in Shimla. Malik has finished his private school education. At twenty, he has just met a young woman named Nimmi when he leaves to apprentice at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. Their latest project: a state-of-the-art cinema.
Malik soon finds that not much has changed as he navigates the Pink City of his childhood. Power and money still move seamlessly among the wealthy class, and favors flow from Jaipur’s Royal Palace, but only if certain secrets remain buried. When the cinema’s balcony tragically collapses on opening night, blame is placed where it is convenient. But Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a former street child, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it’s a lesson that will serve him as he untangles a web of lies.
Malik is an intern at the facilities office of Jaipur Palace. The latest project is a wonderful cinema. But, things are not as they seem. A balcony of the cinema collapses the night of the opening. Malik comes across some unique adjustments in the project. This leads to some dark secrets which can end up threatening Malik’s life.
I absolutely adored The Henna Artist. However, this one fell a little short for me. I still love the characters and the setting. This is probably what kept me reading. But the story itself just drags in places.
I do love that this author teaches me something. I know very little about this culture. There is always something new to learn in her books.
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.