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Informative,
Beautiful,
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2 reviews

Henna House: A Novel
by Nomi Eve

Published: 2014-08-12
Hardcover : 320 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
An evocative and stirring novel about a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews of the mid-twentieth century, from the acclaimed author of The Family Orchard.

In the tradition of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, Henna House is the enthralling ...
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Introduction

An evocative and stirring novel about a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews of the mid-twentieth century, from the acclaimed author of The Family Orchard.

In the tradition of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, Henna House is the enthralling story of a woman, her family, their community, and the rituals that bind them.

Nomi Eve’s vivid saga begins in Yemen in 1920, when Adela Damari’s parents desperately seek a future husband for their young daughter. After passage of the Orphan’s Decree, any unbetrothed Jewish child left orphaned will be instantly adopted by the local Muslim community. With her parents’ health failing, and no spousal prospects in sight, Adela’s situation looks dire until her uncle arrives from a faraway city, bringing with him a cousin and aunt who introduce Adela to the powerful rituals of henna tattooing. Suddenly, Adela’s eyes are opened to the world, and she begins to understand what it means to love another and one’s heritage. She is imperiled, however, when her parents die and a prolonged drought threatens their long-established way of life. She and her extended family flee to the city of Aden where Adela encounters old loves, discovers her true calling, and is ultimately betrayed by the people and customs she once held dear.

Henna House is an intimate family portrait and a panorama of history. From the traditions of the Yemenite Jews, to the far-ranging devastation of the Holocaust, to the birth of the State of Israel, Eve offers an unforgettable coming-of-age story and a textured chronicle of a fascinating period in the twentieth century.

Henna House is a rich, spirited, and sensuous tale of love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness, and the dyes that adorn the skin and pierce the heart.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

If you got a henna design, what would it be and what would it represent or story would it tell?
by bmedvid (see profile) 09/22/17

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Henna Patterns
by Betty56 (see profile) 09/30/15
I looked up examples of elaborate henna patterns to share with the club.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Lyrical coming of age story"by bmedvid (see profile) 09/22/17

This novel starts with a discussion of the main character’s eyes. “What is wrong with the girl’s eyes?”…”But they are too big for her face.”…”Eyes like that see either too ... (read more)

 
  "BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, POETIC!"by sonneegirl (see profile) 03/24/17

VERY beautifully written. Words that paint a picture and inform historically accurate at the same time. Could NOT put this book down. It just spoke to me and I will read it again.

 
  "Story of Yemenite Jews"by Betty56 (see profile) 09/30/15

Great story revolving around the use of henna by the women of the Jewish community in Yemen. Cultural information and some history also as it tells of the evacuation of the Jews of Yemen. Also a love story.... (read more)

 
  "Henna House"by markokopp1 (see profile) 06/18/15

A little slow getting started, this historical fiction turns into a page turner. The history of henna, the superstitions surrounding it and the meanings of the henna images make this book worth reading.... (read more)

 
  "The author describes the life of a Jewish family in Yemen."by thewanderingjew (see profile) 02/25/15

Jews and Muslims lived together in peace but perhaps not total harmony, since there were disagreements between them for which the Muslims always had the upper hand. They lived by their rules... (read more)

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