Welcome back to my Weekend Coffee Share! Perhaps today, we should have tea instead! I want to talk about India! And, I want to share a book, I have recently read! So, let’s settle in with tea!
I like to read books about the countries I plan to visit, to get a glimpse of their history, family structure, culture, food, and art………..One of the BEST books, that I have read in a long time and fit the bill, was The Henna Artist, by Alka Joshi. I knew very little about India and the customs there, but this book caught my eye.
When I was in Istanbul a few years back there was a grandmother, daughter, granddaughter group from France, traveling with us on a boat on the Bosphorus Strait. The granddaughter’s hands were done up in henna. I wanted so much to talk to her about her hands! I thought they were tattooed! She was a tall, willowy, blond, young woman and I wondered why she would do that! But, they spoke in French and kept to themselves, so I settled for watching her hands………..That was my one and done, but it kept me interested and thinking about it over the years. So, when I came across The Henna Artist and it had such great reviews I had to read it! I was not disappointed!
I don’t think I am very good at book reviews……..I don’t like to give away one thing about the book to spoil your reading enjoyment. I will say there are a lot of characters in the book and I was concerned about that. But, they are all so different and colorful that it is easy to remember, who is who. There is also a list in the front of the book who tells you, who is who, too. There is a reference at the back of the book for Indian words and their meanings. I learned many new words! But, I loved the flow of the book and the story! I couldn’t put it down and then went on to read the second book, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, also by Alka Joshi, which finishes up the story and reveals how everyone actually turned out! I like books like that……..especially, when I am taken with the characters.
I learned about life and love in India, the foods, the caste system, modern India, old India and the traditions. And, of course about those henna hands! I also enjoyed all the colors of India! I found myself right there, enjoying the flowers, the festivals and the flavors of India! I recommended the book to my husband and now he is reading it too! It is a real sign of an excellent book, when it appeals to both men and women, I think.
OK, I will give you one little hint, hennaed hands are not tattoos! That’s all you’ll get from me!
Is there a book you could recommend to me that would bring out the life and culture of a country? I’m will be headed to the Middle East and Asia later this year. Let me know!
Until next time enjoy your weekend! Cady
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I do the same- try to read around a country I’m not familiar with, for background. These two sound good. Can’t recollect anything I’ve read recently in Asia. Perhaps I.J. can help you out?
I’m already having tea, so that’s good. The book sounds interesting. I’ve read a number of books about India by M. M. Kaye and Rumer and/or Jan Godden. M.M. Kaye has a trio about growing up in India and the Goddens that same. I can’t think of any about the Middle East or Asia right now but I look forward to reading about and seeing photos of your trips. No overseas trips in my near future so I must enjoy through others. 🙂
Thanks Janet, I will look those books up! We are definitely ready to travel! Cady
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M. M. Kaye also writes some enjoyable mystery-romances based in places she lived with her husband.
When I was in Morocco, I saw many places to get henna done for hands. Thank you Cady for your book recommendations and #weekendcoffeeshare.