Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Henna House-Nomi Eve

Henna House-Nomi Eve
the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 320
gender: F
nationality: USA
year: 2014
Epic following a Yemeni Jewish community. Set against a policy that forcibly adopts unbetrothed orphaned children, Adele has to come of age in a time of change and challenge.

My notes from this novel are the single word: “intense”. The characters are drawn magnificently-every woman in this novel is her own strong person. They are bound into their small community-Yemeni Jews-as a strong force that helps recall the uniqueness of their past and their present while also presenting a variety of voices showcasing the ways women are oppressed but push back against it. I just loved Adela, the main narrator. Her voice was one of experience as well as learning and she never succumbed into blaming others but rather states what is and what was done to counteract it. As the family must leave Yemen and move to Israel, the intensity of the journey and the prose used to bring it alive only increases. This is one of those novels of fiction that nevertheless tells a real story about a largely unknown group, the Yemeni Jews with their emphasis on henna. The ending perhaps doesn’t live up to the beginning and middle (becoming a bit melodramatic) but the prose makes up for it.

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