Alka Joshi, a New York Times bestselling author and the author of The Henna Artist, has come out with a sequel to the best-seller rich in its references to the "exotic" north Indian culture.
Set 12 years after the events of The Henna Artist, Lakshmi, now married to Dr Jay Kumar, is settled near the Himalayas and working at the Shimla community clinic. Her 20-year old helper Malik, who has finished his private school education, meets a young tribal woman, Nimmi, when he leaves to begin an apprenticeship at the Jaipur Palace. The royals' 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, 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. Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a young street urchin, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it's a lesson that still serves him well. But it is only when Lakshmi, the real keeper of Jaipur's secrets, intervenes, that things can truly right themselves.
Alka Joshi while talking about the much-adored Jaipur trilogy said, "One of the joys of writing the Jaipur trilogy is spotlighting South Asian stories that delve deeper into the remarkable history, varied traditions, delectable cuisines, triumphs and heartaches of my birth culture to the global sphere. Daily, I hear from passionate readers who feel they now have a far better understanding of our people and their positive influence across the world."
Upon the release of the much-awaited book, praises flowed in from across the world. From Christy Lefteri, author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo and Songbirds calling Joshi a "master storyteller" to Pam Jenoff, author of The Lost Girls of Paris, calling it "an engaging and powerful story to the famous Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon saying, "Captivated me from the first chapter to the final page."