Henna House: A Novel

Henna House: A Novel

by Nomi Eve
4.7 6

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Overview

Henna House: A Novel by Nomi Eve

“A touching coming-of-age story” (Publishers Weekly) in the tradition of Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, about a young woman, her family, their community and the customs that bind them, from “a storyteller of uncommon energy and poise” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).

This vivid saga begins in Yemen in 1920. Adela Damari’s parents’ health is failing as they desperately seek a future husband for their young daughter, who is in danger of becoming adopted by the local Muslim community if she is orphaned. With no likely marriage prospects, Adela’s situation looks dire—until she meets two cousins from faraway cities: a boy with whom she shares her most treasured secret, and a girl who introduces her to the powerful rituals of henna. Ultimately, Adela’s life journey brings her old and new loves, her true calling, and a new life as she is transported to Israel as part of Operation On Wings of Eagles.

Rich, evocative, and enthralling, Henna House is an intimate family portrait interwoven with the traditions of the Yemenite Jews and the history of the Holocaust and Israel. This sensuous tale of love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness—and the dyes that adorn the skin and pierce the heart—will captivate readers until the very last page.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476740270
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 08/12/2014
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Nomi Eve is the author of The Family Orchard, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection and was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award. She has an MFA in fiction writing from Brown University and has worked as a freelance book reviewer for The Village Voice and New York Newsday. Her stories have appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, The Voice Literary Supplement, Conjunctions, and The International Quarterly. She is currently a lecturer in the creative writing program at Bryn Mawr College and lives in Philadelphia with her family.

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Henna House: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
Henna House is a deep and provocative tale about the life of a Jewish family in Yemen at the start of the 20th century. To be Jewish in Yemen during this era meant every facet of their lives was strictly controlled. Everything from what type of work was acceptable to how to ride a donkey. Failing to adhere to any of these standards meant harsh penalties. At the heart of the story is Adela whose own mother is cold and distant to her and whose father’s failing health threatens her safety. Yemeni law decrees that any child whose father dies, will be taken from the mother and given away to a Muslim family to raise, unless she is married. Despite the fact that Adela is a child under the age of 10, while her mother begins to seek a groom, Adela is introduced into the world of henna drawing by relatives. Graced with lyrical prose, the pages of this story truly come alive with vivid details about everyday life and the art and superstitions of henna drawing. The author gives us a vibrant glimpse into a brutal regime and a harsh culture where not even the children can be safe and women are traded into marriage like sheep at the auction block. The author does not hide the cruelty and difficulties families faced. What left me moved was how women had little or no control over their fates. A great storyline, wonderful detail, and political and cultural themes are seamlessly weaved together in this poignant novel about a young girl struggling to make sense of her life and create a future for herself. A wonderful, insightful family saga! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just when you fear the story is over the reader turns the page and more appears. Stunning
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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