The Secret Keeper of Jaipur

Alka Joshi returns with her signature blend of rich narrative and vivid imagery. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur picks up the threads of Lakshmi’s life a dozen years after we left her in The Henna Artist. Escaping from a scandal in Jaipur, Lakshmi finds sanctuary in the foothills of the Himalayas, creating a new life with her sharp-witted adoptive son, Malik, and her doctor husband.

It’s now 1969 and Malik is studying the building trade as an intern at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. Their latest project is a state-of-the-art cinema. More than a thousand people flock to Jaipur’s Royal Jewel Cinema on opening night. But as intermission ends, the balcony collapses. As the dust settles, the secrets hidden in the theater’s construction threaten to bring down one of the city’s most powerful families. Malik suspects fraud and Lakshmi returns to Jaipur to help Malik bring out the truth.

This book swings between the perspectives of Lakshmi, Malik, and Malik’s sweetheart Nimmi. Joshi masterfully draws the reader back into the vibrant world she’s created, filling each page with lush descriptions of India’s culinary delights, its sensory-filled settings, and a plot that stays with you long after you put the book down. She deftly navigates the intricate layers of Indian culture, the pulls of tradition, and the push for modernity.

With its secrets and intrigue, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur garners a well-deserved 4 stars, leaving you reaching for the next installment in the trilogy, The Perfumist of Paris.

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