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Henna House: A Novel de Nomi Eve
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Henna House: A Novel (edição: 2015)

de Nomi Eve (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
20418133,627 (4)15
"In Yemen in 1920 ... 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"--Amazon.com.… (mais)
Membro:LeonDjannovic
Título:Henna House: A Novel
Autores:Nomi Eve (Autor)
Informação:Scribner (2015), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Coleções:Lista de desejos
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Henna House de Nomi Eve

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Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This book is great if you want to dive into a particular character's life and meander through her childhood alongside her. We see her as an adult at the very end of the book when several decades are suddenly fast-forwarded through.

Eve's lyrical prose and historical details are what got me through the book, because there really isn't much by way of dimensional, memorable characters or plot. I did enjoy the motifs of henna and the alphabet used throughout the book. ( )
  hissingpotatoes | Jan 16, 2022 |
This is a beautifully written, meticulously researched book. At first I thought I was reading about a young girl in Biblical times Yemen. The Jews and the Muslims are living side by side with the Muslims ruling and controlling every minute detail of the lives of the Jews. The homes, clothing, living conditions, and cultural mores are biblical. It was quite shocking to realize that the story starts around the 1920's! Then I thought about how many people, especially girls and women are still living in similar conditions in much of the world, and it was not hard to believe that such an almost pre-historic existence could exist concurrently with the first trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindburgh, the Baseball career of Babe Ruth etc.

All that aside, this is a beautiful, rich story of a young girl growing up in a small primative village where girls are betrothed as toddlers, married as soon as they bleed, and live rather bleak lives. Jewish children who are orphaned can legally be "snatched" by "The Confiscator", a Muslim, and then converted to Islam and adopted by Muslim families. Adela is the youngest child, the only girl, with a loving but ailing father, a cold, harsh mother, and older, brutish brothers. At the age of 5 things are looking dismal as parents cannot find her a husband -to -be. An exotic cousin comes into her life and things change dramatically. (No more plot details.....)

The story flows Adela as she grows up, learns about being a woman, finds love, friendship, sisterhood, heartbreak and discovers the world beyond her tiny village. The art of Henna plays a huge role and it is a fascinating one. As someone who has had minor hennas applied I found the descriptions of the role henna played in the Yemenite culture so interesting. Once again there is this commonality between the Jewish and Muslim faiths....(The author has created a website that offers more information about Henna etc).

Nomi Eve has created memorable characters, and shone light into a culture and people who were almost destroyed because of Hitler, WW2 and the creation of the State of Israel. As the Yemini Jews fled to Israel many chose to adopt modern lifestyles and their dress, foods and even hennas were pushed aside. Happily there is now a resurgence of appreciation for these cultural touchstones and Nomi Eve's novel will help to further encourage and celebrate them. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
What a beautifully written story. This was a group of people I really knew nothing about and I've always been interested in henna. This is about Adela Damari starting in the 1920s in Yemen. It follows her life as she tries to avoid the Confiscator who takes Jewish children as part of the Orphan's Decree and they are instantly adopted by the local Muslim community. I enjoyed the relationship between Adela and her cousin Hani who introduces her to henna application and meanings. I enjoyed the harsh relationship she had with her mother. This is so worth the time. I would have read it faster but I had other things going on. This is one you will get lost in and will lose track of time because you will be absorbed into the characters lives. It will leave you thinking about the characters long after you put the book down.

I want to thank the publisher for my copy as I received this through my group as a read along with the publisher. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Henna House is the story of a Yemeni Jewish family written in the form of a memoir by the family's youngest daughter Adela. We meet her 1923, where five-year-old Adela is the ninth child and only daughter. She lives in fear of confiscation under the Muslim “Orphan’s Decree” should her sick father die prematurely. Through her narration, Adela is able to give the reader a unique look into a culture full of tradition, mysticism and history. When she meets her cousin Hani she is drawn into the seductive and ritualistic art of henna. All the primary characters here are female and, although deferential to the men, these are forceful women living in difficult times. Their sacred rituals bind them in their tasks of marriage, child-rearing and housekeeping. But a sense of fear and impending catastrophe infuses the story as increasingly antisemitic laws passed by Yemen's Imam cast a pall over Adela's life. Her father grows sickly, and her mother desperately searches for a boy suitable for Adela's betrothal in order to save her from being adopted and converted by a Muslim family.

I really enjoyed Henna House. The historical aspects of the story, the intriguing characters, and the cultural traditions were fascinating. The story was beautifully written and I especially loved the way female relationships were portrayed, and the religious and Jewish culture references. I knew very little about the Yemen Jews and what occurred in the 1920s. Reading this book was definitely an eye-opener for me. I was unaware that the Yemeni Jews had henna as part of their traditions, and I found the parts of this novel featuring the henna drawing to be absolutely fascinating. I've never read a book by this author but I'll definitely keep an eye out for another one in the future.

( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Beautiful book. I was half way thru it when I met the Author and now that I have finished it, I wish I could tell her again just how much I really loved this story. I wasn't expecting to cry at the end, I thought I had it pretty much figured out.. but wow It is a powerful book and wonderful lesson in understanding the ritual of Henna, and the Yemenite Jews and their struggles. Loved it! ( )
  booklovers2 | Oct 25, 2015 |
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My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh, that lieth betwixt my breasts. My beloved is unto me as a cluster of henna flowers in the vineyards of Ein Gedi. ----Song of Songs, 1:13-14
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For Ahoova, in whose kitchen I first savored malawach and jachnun and other forms of essential nourishment.
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"In Yemen in 1920 ... 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"--Amazon.com.

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