The Henna Artist is the debut novel written by Alka Joshi. This story takes place in India, in the 1950s. The main character, Lakshmi, is a young woman who had to make a difficult decision to leave her abusive husband and marriage that was arranged by her parents at an early age. Due to the negative social views and beliefs of many people at the time, she had to find a different place to start her new life. Longing for her family, she worked hard to achieve her independence. She used her knowledge of natural remedies, henna art, and help from people she met along the way to create a decent living and build her new house. However, certain events, and decisions that she had made, brought new challenges to her life and the lives of the people around her. With the support of a great person she got to know, she found her peace by helping people that really needed and wanted her help. Overall, this book is a good read, but I cannot but mention that I was a little bit disappointed with the storyline, in which Lakshmi acted a certain way, which for me was out of her character. In any case, there is a lot of material to reflect on.
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