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The Secret Keeper of Jaipur: A Novel af Alka…

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur: A Novel (udgave 2021)

af Alka Joshi (Forfatter)

Serier: The Jaipur Trilogy (2)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
577363,115 (4.17)Ingen
Titel:The Secret Keeper of Jaipur: A Novel
Forfattere:Alka Joshi (Forfatter)
Info:MIRA (2021), Edition: Original, 384 pages
Samlinger:To Be Read, Dit bibliotek

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The Secret Keeper of Jaipur: A Novel af Alka Joshi


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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
Alka Joshi once again has showcased her skills as a superb storytelling in the second book in The Jaipur Trilogy.

This book picks up twelve years (late 1960s) after The Henna Artist and the strong-willed Lakshmi is happily married and directs a healing center in Shimla in the Himalayan foothills while the resourceful Malik has completed his private school education and is currently working at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal House. Malik is torn between the opportunities offered to him in Jaipur and returning to Shimla where he has begun a relationship with Nimmi, a widow Himalayan tribeswoman with two young children. When a major palace project goes terribly awry, dynastic relationship may determine the truth. Meanwhile, Nimmi stumbles upon a situation which could put herself and her tribe in harm’s way. It will take a delicate strategy and finesse to survive the thorny complexities of the power hierarchies of Indian society.

The description of India’s landscape provides a strong sense of place, especially of the Himalayan foothills, expertly plotting, and historical and cultural details come together in a compelling narrative.

But it will be the wonderfully drawn characters in this emotional rich drama that will keep the reader turning the pages.

This immersive historical fiction moved me with deep insights into the meaning of family and belong on an individual’s own terms.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ( )
  bookmuse56 | Jul 11, 2021 |
After having been seduced by the cover art of this book, it didn't take long to fall deep within its pages. The writing is lovely and the scene settings are lush and atmospheric. The character development is thoughtful and well fleshed out. The story is riveting and captivating.

Ms. Joshi has set this book in 1969 within cities of two states of India - Jaipur in Rajasthan and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, in the Himalayan foothills. She deftly weaves a tale through the voices of three characters of differing cultures and classes. She portrays the unforeseen clashes which result when there is tension between the cultures. She also speaks to the clash between traditional Indian customs and the modern ways; struggles between and within families; integrity and honor versus the get-rich-schemes and its subterfuge. The gold smuggling trade plays a major role in this story as all three main characters, unintentionally, get wrapped up into it.

It was most kind of Ms. Joshi to provide a fair amount of background information for the non-cognoscenti of Indian customs, language and food. I found the material fascinating and quite informative. The glossary of Indian terms and expressions was particularly helpful.

This second book in series follows the great success of Ms. Joshi's, "The Henna Artist" (March, 2020) - a book which I will assuredly read too. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and commend it to you wholeheartedly. ( )
  KateBaxter | Jul 9, 2021 |
Lakshmi still as engaging!

The Henna Artist grabbed my attention from the get-go. Diving back into that world with the Secret Keeper did exactly the same thing but in an entirely different way. The tone has shifted, but the drama is just as heightened. We are treated to the ongoing lives of people met in Lakshmi’s story, including her former ward Malik, who is now a man.
Lakshmi Kumar now lives in Shimla in the State of Himachal Pradesh, a northern state in the Himalayas and is married to Dr. Jay Kumar, a physician at the Lady Reading Hospital and director of the Community Clinic. She is director of the Lady Reading Healing Garden, a herbal garden designed to collect and use indigenous healing plants the people of the region are able to identify with as a valid medicinal source and to serve as a bridge to further treatments the people might be suspicious of.
The story opens with a heart stopping tragedy in Lakshmi’s former home of Jaipur that effects many of Lakshmi’s close friends, including her sister’s son’s adoptive family (important secret!) and her ward Malik. As we are treated to the back story of events prior to this tragedy we become part of Malik’s journey to the now.
He has moved to Jaipur apprenticed to the Facilities Office of the Palace working on a huge cinema has been with This includes the young hill’s widow (not that the Himalayas are mere hills!) Nimmi and her two children.
There’s the fascinating and dangerous encounter with gold smugglers operating in the mountains and the implications of this, including the method of transport.
Lakshmi ends up back in Jaipur and her past relationship with the maharanis becomes important. After all she was custodian of secrets as the Henna Artist.
A satisfying read putting us in touch with the growth and development of these old friends
There are just so many threads drawing me on. I was fully present!

A Harlequin Trade ARC via NetGalley ( )
  eyes.2c | Jul 2, 2021 |
I loved “The Henna Artist” when it came out last year, and I loved its sequel just as much, or maybe even a bit more. As I began reading it, it soon felt like a family reunion. I had come home to visit again with Lakshmi and Malik and various friends, like Maharani Indira, Manu and Kanta Agarwal, and even Madho Singh.

Just as at all family reunions, I wanted to know what everyone had been up to. Lakshmi is now living in Shimla and is married to Dr. Kumar (I saw that one coming.) Malik, just as charming as ever, has finished school and met the widow Nimmi and her two children. But Lakshmi arranges for Malik to take an apprenticeship position back in Jaipur, thus leaving Nimmi in Shimla. Malik finds that not much has changed in Jaipur - it is still all about power and money and keeping secrets. Then a tragedy strikes, and Malik is caught in the middle of it. He must make some difficult decisions in his quest to uncover the truth as to what (and who) is responsible for the tragedy.

I really love how Joshi gives the reader a glance into the lives of the various levels of society, from sheepherders and servants to royalty and the upper echelons of society. I found Nimmi to be interesting because of her cultural background. She is from a hill tribe that moves about with their flocks of sheep. Through Joshi’s descriptions, I could easily imagine the beautiful clothing and the jewels. I could almost taste the banquet of luscious Indian foods.

If you enjoy historical fiction and learning about other cultures, I highly recommend this book! But I do suggest that you read “The Henna Artist” first to get the backstory for Lakshmi and Malik. “The Henna Artist” was Lakshmi’s story and tells how Malik becomes part of her family. It also reveals Lakshmi’s relationship with her sister Radha. (I believe Book 3 will be Radha’s story.) I think there would be too many gaps in the story if you skip the first book. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Jun 22, 2021 |
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