Book Review: ‘The Secret Keeper Of Jaipur’ Intrigues And Entertains

In New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi’s intriguing new novel, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace in this tale rich in character, atmosphere, and lavish storytelling.

Author Alka Joshi delivers a great story here, the characters are very realistic and it doesn’t take long to embrace the lovers and their story. Malik is a clever man and at 20 years of age, is very much in charge of his emotions and memories. From a street urchin to an apprenticeship at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace in India, his love for a tribal woman, Nimmi, a widow with two young children, is unusual but he knows exactly what he wants and will get it.

The story revolves around the building of a cinema, the Royal Jewel, funded by the Queen, and on the opening night, the cinema’s balcony tragically collapses. Of course, Malik sees the workmanship as shoddy and he formulates a plan as to why the balcony gave way and who is responsible. The background of the story fills in a lot of Indian politics and those who want to make money, no matter what the cost. People are used, without regard to their nationality, and the book shows that bad is bad and greed is greed, and that will never change.

Alka Joshi gives a lovely insight into the royal family and at the other end of the spectrum, the Himalayan tribes, who herd and try to make ends meet. There are a few storylines occurring at the same time and your interest will most definitely not wane as the story holds your attention to the very end. I really enjoyed this book, it is a keeper and a great addition to your collection.

Available in Bookstores Tuesday, June 22nd

Ann McDonald

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