I always love well written fiction, it leaves you gasping for breath and either laughing with a sense of relief or crying from the intense emotion that only fiction can leave a reader with.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Henna House, I can’t even remember where I had heard about it, but I knew it had to be read.
Henna House is written in the form of a personal recollection of Adela Damari and her life. A child whose father was quite ill throughout most of the story. The gloom of the Confiscator as he would constantly visit her father’s stall in the market inquiring on his health and to make a new order of sandal for his wife. A child with a mother who showed very little emotion, but acknowledged how different she was and that the small town of Qaraah was no place for her. The coming of “the other Damaris”, and the introduction of henna, and the beauty that encompassed her natural curiosity. The plights, the great voyages, and the history, the religion, and the everlasting bond of sisterhood within a family.
In this kind of story, a person might read that marrying off unborn children to seem archaic and distasteful, but in this story, you will read about it and you will also get the perspective of a girl-child who lives in a world that creates long-term engagements to keep their children safe. In this story, there is also betrayal and adultery, gossip, mistrust, family and love; a lot of love.