Trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own... Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone from her 1950s rural village to the pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the henna artist-and confidante-most in demand to women of the upper class. Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a young girl in tow-a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman's struggle for fulfillment in society, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once fascinating, stark and cruel.