Last name: Janet Hensen
Job title: Information Services Officer for the Jackson County Public Library
What is the name of the book and author you recommend?
I read “The Henna Artist” by Alka Joshi. We have it in the Seymour Library in regular print or large print, and the eBook audiobook is available on Libby and Hoopla.
What made you want to pick up this book in the first place?
This was the April book for the Tuesday Night Book Club that we have at the Seymour Library. It wasn’t my choice since we all have the option of choosing books for the year, but I’m glad I had a reason to read it.
Once you entered the book, what made you want keep reading it?
I need to be drawn to the characters to continue reading any book. I thought the author made the characters relatable and showed their strengths but also their flaws and weaknesses. For example, Lakshmi had to be strong to be a successful businesswoman because of her past, but she was so vulnerable and made mistakes with her sister.
After you finished the book, what did you like?
I liked the fact that all of the main characters experienced growth, sometimes unexpected and painful.
What is the book about?
It takes place in the 1950s in India. Lakshmi has established herself and makes a good living as a henna artist for wealthy women in Jaipur. She needed to become an expert in juggling secrets and has the ambition to become more than a henna artist; however, her past catches up with her in the form of the abusive husband she left behind 13 years earlier, accompanied by a younger sister she was unaware of. Suddenly her dreams of owning her own home and pursuing her career become much more difficult.
Why would you recommend this book to others?
The Indian setting and culture was unlike anything I had read before, especially around this time. Overall, it was a compelling book with relatable characters. I was delighted to hear that a sequel is slated to be available in June 2021.