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Publisher's Summary

Yemen in 1920: 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 Damari'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.

©2014 Nomi Eve (P)2014 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

"...the novel is a welcome glimpse into this historical moment and little-known culture. (Booklist)
"A captivating and evocative novel, at once intensely intimate and sweeping in scope. Nomi Eve is a wonderful writer - compassionate, intelligent, assured - and her deeply felt, richly imagined book will stay with me for a long time." (Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans)
"This was a book I had to read twice: the first time to rush through quickly to find out what will ultimately happen to the characters, and the second time to slowly savor the descriptions of these marvelous, exotic people and locales. Nomi Eve captivated me." (Maggie Anton, author of Rashi's Daughters and Rav Hisda's Daughter)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but not great.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It took me a while to get through this book. I read & listened to several other books while working on this one. I would get bored and so go to another but then come back to see what happened to certain characters.

Would you recommend Henna House to your friends? Why or why not?

Best thing about this book was the information about Yemenite Jewish culture. I really didn't know much about this interesting culture/sect of Jews. It was very interesting to learn about their ways and about henna. For that reason I would recommend the book - but the plot & characters are not fascinating or entrancing. But I did finish the book and was satisfied with how it all wrapped up.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Narrator was okay.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Heartwarming Story

What made the experience of listening to Henna House the most enjoyable?

I really enjoyed learning about the customs and traditions of the Yemen people.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Of course, Adela. Her character was ethereal and pragmatic which was interesting. She perfumed her speech and her henna story.

What about Hillary Huber’s performance did you like?

I think she captured the character well.

Who was the most memorable character of Henna House and why?

I love the gathering of the woman. It reminded me of "The Red Tent". The same kind of camaraderie and love amongst the woman. It was beautiful.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history and tradition. It is a book about women for women or for men who want to know more about women. It is of a time long gone, but also of a time we should hold dear and maybe start again. It was beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dorothy
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 04-05-15

Read this one- skip audible

OK story. Unfortunately, others of this genre are superior. Interesting Yemen historical perspective.
Slow start. Narrator speaks so slowly you have to go to 1.25 or you might fall asleep. At that speed, she's good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous Book!!

Couldn’t put it down. Amazing story intertwined by history and culture. Great insight to a culture.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

I have listened to this book several times. It is enchanting, inspiring, and enthralling all at once.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing story

Enjoyed the story as it ties in to other WWII stories from other countries that I have been reading. Overall it kept me interested.

The reader should have taken a course in pronunciation of Hebrew words.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Eye opening insight into the recent history of Jews in Yemen

Good story, realistic, upbeat ending ( in hard times, a happy ending is a nice change); good narration
Very interesting background on Jews in Yemen, thebindia link, and migration to Israel

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Romance in Yemen

It is a moving mystical love story. Enjoy the imagery of life in Yemen. The activities s involving Henna are seductive.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Like a more modern, better written Red Tent

I love this book so much! Definitely in keeping with "Red Tent" and "The Dovekeepers." Brilliant and beautiful. I am also a henna artist so that part was magical.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

hard to put down

My favorite part of the story was remembering this wasn't ancient history but fairly modern.