After reading The Henna Artist which I truly enjoyed, I knew I wanted to continue on in the series to read more about Lakshmi. It has been 12 years since Lakshmi, Malik, and her younger sister Radha left Jaipur. The story continues with Malik returning to Jaipur to learn more about the building & design business but soon discovers secrets that will alter the lives of many of the characters. Meanwhile, Lakshmi has married and is living a pleasant and relaxed life with her husband while working at the clinic. She has befriended Nimi, Malik's new love and offers to assist her while Malik is away in Jaipur. Their lives all become intertwined together due to the threat of a smuggling scheme. I was so captivated in the lives of the characters and just enough suspense to keep the storyline going throughout the book. Even though this one is a sequel to The Henna Artist, I do believe readers can dive into this one without reading The Henna Artist first. But I highly recommend reading Henna Artist first which would add more depth of backstory and understanding of the characters! I would recommend this to readers who enjoy historical fiction, different cultures, and family dynamics.
—Nicole, Snail Reader Circle
A NEW NOVEL BY THE AUTHOR OF THE HENNA ARTIST, A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK
Good Morning America's "27 Books for June"
PopSugar's Best Summer Reads of 2021
In New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi's intriguing new novel, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her prot g , 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.
"Captivated me from the first chapter to the last page." --Reese Witherspoon on The Henna Artist